It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the next wave of iOS devices will adopt Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor across the board. As I recently reported, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is adamant that Touch ID will be deployed across new iPhones and iPads coming later this year.
That the iOS 8 SDK which Apple unveiled earlier this month has opened up the sophisticated fingerprint scanner to third-party developers won’t hurt either. Based on the rumor-mill talk and supposed specifications, a Japanese website has posted images of a next-generation iPad Air dummy unit with Touch ID…
Notice a single row of larger holes on the speaker grille on the bottom versus the two rows of holes of the current-generation iPad Air design. Another small design tweaks: the volume buttons appear slightly recessed into the edge of the case.
As you can see, no surprises here as the iPad Air 2 is said to keep the current form factor intact, down to the skinnier side bezels and the 9.7-inch screen, as well as its thin and light appearance.
A small hole where the mute switch is usually located is probably work-in-progress as this seems to be an unfinished prototype unit. The surprisingly detailed mockup shows no design changes other than Touch ID and the aforementioned tweaks.
Again, the chassis design provided by this dummy unit is based on the assumption that the rumor-mill has reliable information concerning the next iPad refresh. There’s a microphone hole next to the iSight camera on the back, as evidenced by the below image.
Supply chain chatter coming out of Asia suggests that the iPad Air 2 for the most part is likely a specs upgrade. It’s said to incorporate a more power efficient A8 chip, an improved eight-megapixel camera on the back versus the five-megapixel one on the current lineup, a slight megapixel increase on the front-facing shooter and more.
It’s reportedly entering production over the course of this and next month. If all goes as planned, Apple should reveal its 2014 tablet lineup in Fall, possibly coinciding with the public release of iOS 8 and the arrival of the next iPhone(s).