iPad Air back

According to a questionable report published Wednesday by ETNews, Apple in a repeat of 2013 is set to release an improved iPad Air model. It will have the same design as the current iPad Air, the story has it.

Most of the changes deal with the innards, such as a more power efficient and slightly faster A8 chip and an eight-megapixel camera on the back, a bump up from the five-megapixel iSight module on existing iPads.

The front-facing FaceTime camera should also see a resolution increase, going from a rather paltry 1.2-megapixel module on current models to a slightly better 1.5-megapixel one…

These hardware improvements in the camera department should be coupled with iOS 8, which enables panoramic and time-lapse shooting modes.

ETNews [Google translate] claims that a slightly improved iPad Air will have the same 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution Retina screen and will retain the current 9.7-inch form factor and design.

The second-generation iPad Air (or the sixth-generation full-size iPad, if you will) allegedly goes into production over the course of this and next month as Apple is understood to be lining up its component suppliers as we speak.

Apple is expected to refresh its iOS device lineup around Fall.

The report makes no mention of Touch ID.

If I were a betting man, I’d assume Apple would want to roll out the fingerprint sensor across entire iOS device range, as soon as possible now that it has opened Touch ID to developers.

touch id ipad 5

We’re not sure what to make of this and ETNews isn’t the most reliable of sources. Apple did something similar back in 2013, when it released the iPad 4 mere six months after putting out the iPad 3 in March 2013.

The iPad 3 filed as Apple’s first iPad with the Retina display. Putting such a high-resolution 9.7-inch panel on a tablet put a lot of strain on the battery, prompting complaints from users over problems like device overheating and disappointing graphics performance.

Realizing as much, Tim Cook & Co. have replaced the iPad 3’s A5X chip with a much faster and – most importantly – more power efficient A6X chip with souped up graphics.

The current A7 chip is being fabbed by Samsung on its high-κ metal gate (HKMG) 28nm process. Making its successor, the A8 chip, more power efficient likely stems from a new process technology, like TSMC’s 20-nanometer tech.

iPad Air promo (A7 closeup 001)
Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip inside the iPad Air.

This would result in a smaller die, notably lower heat dissipation and faster performance because the electrons travel shorter distances.

Even though the iPad Air does not suffer from the iPad 3’s teething issues, it’s possible Apple has reckoned that switching from an annual to bi-annual refresh for iPads would be a wise move to keep up with the relentless pace of technological advancements.

What do you think?

I’m eager to hear your take so sound off in the comments.

  • Sebastián Junca 

    Wasn´t the iPad 3 and 4 launched in March and October of 2012 respectively? it says 2013. “Apple did something similar back in 2013, when it released the iPad 4 mere six months after putting out the iPad 3 in March 2013”.

  • daniel bonnells

    To Hell with biannual releases. Cutting the already short device lifespans by half!

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Bi-annual? Pretty sure this sets up for another October release like the Ipad Air, which would make it a full year. Even if its released at the Iphone event thats still 11 months, which is close to a full year.

  • Freddy Born

    May it have more ram please?

    • Matt

      OMG right.
      But Apple have always been. Greedy about ram in every single one of their devices.

    • Kurt

      Hate the constant crashing from low memory. I was playing Jingdom Rush and there were so many enemies on the board that the OS crashed. Safari crashes every day multiple times a day. More RAM!

      • Jackson Grong

        Hmmm… Same here, I have the iPad Air and the ram is just not enough, it’s been the 1GB for the past 2 years since the iPad 3.
        Unless the new iPad has 3GB of ram and Touch ID I won’t upgrade.
        My iPad can’t even keep 2 basic apps running and 3 tabs on Safari. Because of that, the multitasking is garbage.

      • Freddy Born

        Same here

  • randomGuy

    will not consider if no increased RAM and TouchID

    • James Gunaca

      Same here. But I highly doubt they’ll exclude Touch ID given the iOS 8 updates to Touch ID.

  • Valinor

    Current camera is good and i dont use my camera much anyways. Iphone camera is handier.
    Slighty faster and efficienter processor you wont notice.
    Everything else the same,
    TouchID will be really handy.
    Only thing that would actually make me sell my ipad air and get the new one, is if it has more RAM.

    • Kurt

      I said the same to my wife yesterday.

    • smtp25

      depends what you have now? I have the Air and none of that (touch id inclusive) is making me want too. I’ve got a 3rd gen too and I upgraded from that due the lighter weight and smaell bezel of the air

  • Matt Taylor

    If it doesn’t have quad core and at least 2 gigs of ram, plus more iPad specific iOS features like split screen multitasking, not only will I not be upgrading, I will abandon the Apple Eco system, sell my current iPad and consider a Microsoft tablet! And that’s coming from a life long die hard Apple fan boy… :-/

    • The quad-core part isn’t a necessity for performance (it just increases efficiency like 64-Bit); you could still get significantly more performance with a dual-core processor, that’s what’s in my Surface Pro 2. However, there’s no changing the need for RAM for true multi-tasking.

      • Kurt

        Need more RAM for true multitasking. iPad air can’t load multiple pages in safari if you have multiple apps open. It’s so low. I doubt the air will get split screen multitasking

      • Matt Taylor

        You’re right, the iPad is Long overdue a ram upgrade, the Air should of had 2GB and new iterations should have more to cope with iOS 8 and any future multitasking improvements! It seems Apple always just stick in bare minimum… I can just imagine them putting 2GB in the next model and making a big deal out of it, then split screen multitasking will be introduced and that 2GB will once again be a joke… Apple need to stop thinking about their profit margins and more about their customers! I’m sure they have enough money for now hey!?!?

      • Kurt

        You’re so right. “bare minimum” is one of the reason Apple makes such a huge profit off of us. I’ve said that many times on this site. But people just praise Apple for charging us so much. So damn weird these people. Like Apple for the good things and hate them for this bs they pull. But no, their god is Apple.

      • Matt Taylor

        Couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to see there are other people that aren’t just Apple zombies…

        Apple: Jump off that cliff

        Fanboy: Ok Apple, we love you

      • mav3rick

        It looks memory is their bread and butter, like the phone. Charging even $100 for 8GB storage memory.
        512MB RAM is a joke for a today’s device to browse Web and play high graphics games. More for an iPad. Open couple tabs in browser at it will crash on low memory. But just watch at many zealots praising the “superior” memory management from iOS. Only that there is not much left to manage from 512MB RAM, even from 1GB, as system is constantly running on 30%-40% of it.

    • smtp25

      my S4 has quad core – and its sucky slow at times – I don’t think cores really matter that much, even though they should help they seldom in normal ops seems too

      • Matt Taylor

        Yeah, I think the ram is more important to be honest! I find it so funny how Apple bring out these new chips every year boasting about how good they are, when in reality they’re always held back by the low memory!

        “Look guys, we put 64bit in a phone” yeah, how much ram does it have? Oh wait, you don’t wanna talk about it? Oh right…

      • Kurt

        iOS runs well stock because it’s such a basic OS that merely launches apps and a little bit more. But these idolizers on this site believe that 300ppi is the best ppi for a phone when its not true. They believe Apple when Apple says, “iOS is the most advanced mobile operating system in the world” It’s far too basic to be the most advanced in the world. pathetic.

      • Matt Taylor

        If iOS was the most advanced mobile OS, why would we need to Jailbreak! Why would teenage developers on Cydia be doing a better job of implementing new features and why would Apple copy some of those featured years down the line… It should go like this…

        (iOS is the most advanced mobile operating system in the world… As long as it’s jailbroken)

      • Kurt

        as long as it’s jailbroken is key. Stock iOS sucks! Jailbroken and the quality tweaks we have are great. But we still need more. Split screen the way it is on the Note line is needed. Where it’s used in both portrait and landscape and you can drag and drop between two apps!

  • test_11

    I wonder how is look like this new iPad touch ID? This is hope new one would be October or November??

    • Kurt

      Wish we could get front facing speakers like surface pro 3!

      • smtp25

        better down firing than back firing like some samsung devices – they says its better becaue you won’t accidentlally cover them with your hand but in reality the sounds heading in the wrong direction

      • Kurt

        Sorry I don’t understand