Apple’s October 16 iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 announcement is just around the corner, and, if you can believe it, it’s been an entire month since Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhohttps://www.inferse.com/wp-admin/edit.phpne 6 Plus announcement. Apple sold a record 10 million iPhones combined in its first opening weekend (3-day period), 1 million more iPhones than the record it set back in 2013. About 4 million iPhone 6 Plus models have been sold since the announcement, with 3 out of every 5 customers (6 million orders) coming from the entry-level iPhone 6 model.
Now, Apple’s all set to announce the new arrivals for its iPad lineup. Apple once manufactured only the large, 9.7-inch iPad. The company announced the large iPad lineup in 2010, but didn’t give the large iPad its gorgeous, 2048 x 1536 “Retina” resolution until the arrival of the iPad 3 (or third-generation iPad) in March 2012. Apple added its Retina display to the MacBook Pro, having done away with its non-Retina models, though sales have not been as impressive as the non-Retina MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
Google’s Nexus 7 release in 2012 was a big hit with consumers and the tech media, and Apple decided to announce its own 8-inch tablet as a competitor to the Nexus 7 – calling the device “iPad Mini.” The big question at the time concerned the cannibalization of iPad sales. Apple announced the 7.9-inch iPad Mini in Fall 2012, and the mini tablet has been a big hit ever since. Tech media writers and customers clamored for Apple to add its famous Retina display to the iPad Mini, and Apple didn’t disappoint. Just last year, the company produced the iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display, bringing the 2048 x 1536 resolution to the newest member of the Apple family.
The large, 9.7-inch iPad had never been given a name, but the release of the iPad Mini motivated Apple to step up the game with its larger iPad in an effort to boost slowing sales. The company gave the larger iPad a “weight loss” transformation last year along with a new name: the 9.7-inch “iPad Air,” as Apple decided to name it, would be thinner and lighter than any of its larger predecessors.
Apple iPad sales have slowed throughout this year, and it’s not surprising: tech trends observed year over year show that Apple device sales slump before the announcement and arrival of new devices. Customers are waiting on Apple’s new iPad devices before going through with the end-of-the-year upgrades.
What can we expect from Apple’s October 16 iPad announcement?
iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2
The iPad Mini 3 will continue Apple’s iPad Mini tradition while being the second iPad Mini to feature Apple’s Retina display. Sources say that the iPad Mini 3 will feature a faster processor (A8X) and iOS 8 (no surprises there), but rumors continue to point to the implementation of Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint register that’s present on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, as well as a new anti-glare coating on the iPad Mini display that’ll make the device more legible in sunlight. Both devices will also shed some small weight to become the thinnest and lightest tablets Apple’s ever made.
As for the iPad Air 2, sources say that the latest large iPad will sport 2GB of random access memory (RAM) instead of the traditional 1GB of RAM that’s been featured on all Apple tablets since the introduction of the tablet category for the company back in 2010. This may explain why we’ve seen the introduction of split-screen multitasking functionality in iOS 8 code. In a surprise move, Apple didn’t unveil it for the iPhone 6 Plus, but the company may look to introduce the feature into the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 experience. Apple may also introduce the feature quietly, without much fanfare, or allude to it during the October 16 announcement.
Both the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 may also come with 8MP back cameras, as opposed to the current 5MP back cameras on Apple iPads. We’ve heard that Apple wants to boost the specs of its tablets so as to remain competitive with Android rivals, so the 2GB RAM and 8MP camera increases with its tablets would be one way Cupertino could do that. We once heard that Apple would possibly increase the screen resolution on its tablets beyond the current level, but there’ve been no confirmations from our sources regarding this possibility.
Apple intends to maintain the 10-hour battery life of its iPad models, and we don’t see the new iPads getting any less battery life than that. At the same time, however, Apple’s commitment to its “thin and light” philosophy will likely prevent two things: 1) a larger battery and 2) brighter screen resolutions. The brighter screen resolution would mandate a larger battery, and to increase the Retina resolutions on its iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 would decrease the battery life of its newest devices.
Is there something more?
Apple’s already sent out invites to the October 16 announcement, with the words “it’s been way too long.” We have no idea what this means, although we could speculate and say that Apple could possibly unveil some new products that aren’t on the radar at the moment. Apple customers have been clamoring for a new Apple TV and iMac, and a new Mac Mini could be in store. As of this point, our sources haven’t confirmed any of these possibilities, nor have they provided any details on what spec or feature changes we could see in these devices.
At this point, we know that Apple will announce its new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, but that’s all we know for now. Our best advice is to stay tuned to Inferse, as we report on breaking news about Apple’s Thursday iPad announcement.