iPad Air set for October release, iPad Mini for 2015

Apple’s launch event on September 9 brought us the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the announcement of the Apple Watch, HealthKit and HomeKit platforms, but there were a few things missing from Tim Cook’s presentation, namely, the tablets. The tablet market is increasing day by day with new releases ranging from convertible and hybrid tablets to full-blown gaming units. We were expecting to hear at least some mention about the new iPad Air or iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 and even the iPad Air Pro, but the Apple event had no inclusion of these devices whatsoever.

Even though Apple hasn’t announced the iPad Air, iPad Mini or iPad Air Pro, there have been various rumors circulating around the internet about their release date. We’ve previously reported that Apple might be planning an October 21 event with the iPad Air 2 being the main attraction. We also speculated that the iPad Mini 3 would also be featured in the show, but new rumors state that that might not be true.

The October 21 announcement date for the iPad Air 2 remains standing, according to most, but the iPad Mini 3 release seems to have been pushed back to 2015. The iPad Pro has also been rumored to already be in production, but we don’t know for sure whether the tablet will be announced by the end of the year. Most likely, the iPad Air Pro will be announced alongside the iPad Mini 3, sometime next year. So far, none of this information has been confirmed by Apple itself, but it’s highly likely that we will encounter the new iPad Air on October 21.

Since Apple hasn’t confirmed anything about the iPad Air 2, we don’t have enough evidence to present a comprehensive spec sheet for the device, but leaks have still managed to show us at least parts of the new iPad Air 2, Supposedly, the iPad Air 2 will feature Touch ID, 9.7 inch Retina display and will be even thinner and lighter than the current iPad Air model. The design of the iPad Air 2 will probably remain roughly the same as on the current iPad Air, since the design has been well-received by users, An 8 MP rear and 1.5 MP front camera will supposedly be the setup on the iPad Air 2.

The iPad Air 2 screen might be coated with a new type of anti-reflective coating which would help with outdoor visibility and legibility, and the display itself might feature the pressure sensitive function we saw on the Apple Watch at the unveiling event. The iPad Air 2 will be powered by Apple’s A8 CPU coupled with the M8 motion coprocessor. A leaked case with a mysterious opening near the camera opening suggests that the iPad Air 2 might benefit from laser autofocus as seen on the LG G3 or a much needed LED flash.

The iPad Mini 3, on the other hand, will probably be pushed back to a 2015 launch date, according to newest rumors. Even though the 7.9 inch iPad Mini 3 is supposedly in production and almost finalized, we don’t know the reason why Apple would push the release date back so far. In any case, this is not confirmed information so we might actually see the iPad Mini 3 pop up alongside the iPad Air 2 on October 21. The iPad Mini 3 will probably sport a thinner build with the gold color option available, 8 MP camera and 16, 32 and 64 GB storage configurations, powered by the same A8 CPU, backed by 2 GB RAM. Both the iPad Air and iPad Mini will run iOS 8, so they will be able to be paired with a MacBook running OS X Yosemite.

Rumors also say that the behemoth iPad Air Pro might also be in production and if it is, it will probably come as the co-anchor of the show at a 2015 launch event with the iPad Mini 3. The iPad Air Pro wil supposedly sport either a 13.9 or 12.9 inch Retina display and might be designed to compete with convertible and hybrid tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Asus Transformer Book T100, Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 and the likes, with a keyboard dock and laptop-like functions. With iOS 8 offering a great deal of integration between devices, an Apple convertible tablet is a likely development.