iPad Air 2 concept (Martin Hajek 004)

Rumors of a third-generation iPad mini arriving in 2015 (ahead of another rumored device, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro) rather than alongside the iPad Air 2 as previously suspected may have been greatly exaggerated after all, according to the fairly accurate Japanese blog MacOtakara [Google Translate] which today asserted that the Cupertino firm is in fact going to refresh the smaller device alongside its bigger sibling at this Thursday’s press conference.

The event should unsurprisingly see the addition of new colors to Apple’s Smart Cover case lineup, said to receive a tweaked design to accommodate the changes in the iPad’s form factor.

Last month, Taiwanese media claimed that the Retina iPad mini 2 could get delayed to early-2015. That story followed a report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who said he expected only a minor iPad mini refresh this year centered around Touch ID fingerprint scanning functionality.

For the sake of balance, Kuo in his note to clients erroneously called for an iPad Air 2 unveiling at Apple’s iPhone 6 event.

iPad Air 2 concept (Martin Hajek 005)

It’s easy to back Kuo’s delay theory by the apparent lack of related component leaks, as opposed to a bunch of claimed iPad Air 2 parts we’ve seen thus far.

For example, a high-resolution image of a claimed printed circuit board earlier this morning gave us  glimpses of a square chip with the “A8X” branding and 2GB of Elpida-branded RAM, fueling speculation that either an ultra high-resolution screen may be in tow for Apple’s next-generation tablets or the rumored split-screen multitasking functionality (or both).

[MacOtakara via MacRumors]

Renderings courtesy of Martin Hajek.

  • Well, this is all the excuse I need to upgrade from my iPad 3. It’s really time for an upgrade.

    • Josh

      Agree..

    • James G

      I think there are a lot of iPad 3 owners out there who feel the exact same way. Myself included!

      • Any of you iPad 3 owners experiencing Safari crashing while trying to load an Audio stream? I like using Safari for internet streams, but it keeps crashing. Almost like it’s out of RAM or something.

  • Manor

    I really hope the new iPad will offer more than:
    -Touch ID
    -faster processor
    -better camera
    Apple needs to make the new iPad really good to make my ditch my iPad 2

    • Light_man

      Besides Dual-Screen what else do you want a tablet to do? Make your car fly?

      • Uhm, a whole lot more than. I want my tablet to do the following (like my Surface Pro does as a Tablet):

        – Naturally replace all my needs of paper, including the following, without me changing my habits of using a pen and paper

        – Hand note-taking
        – Form filling
        – Document annotating
        – Image annotating
        – Document signing
        – Hand sketching/drawing/tracing

        – Seamlessly organize/manage, view, edit, or share my documents and media be it on a local USB storage or on some third-party’s storage (i.e. Cloud storage).

        – Provide me a true multi-tab browsing experience without any tabs refreshing when I didn’t demand that

        – A fast multitasking experience, so that I can be for example composing my e-mail on one side and referencing some content from the internet in my web-browser, dragging content between the applications.

      • al7oot

        Also able to attach documents in the mail.

      • n0ahcruz3

        In short a more capable tablet that can fully replace a laptop. Not just for media consumption. 😉

      • Yunsar

        Were you payed by Microsoft?

      • Were you commanded by Apple?

      • R3D

        It’s subjective but I still prefer taking hand-written notes on paper. It feels more natural and I can write with smaller and ‘nicer’ letters on paper. For me it could never be replaced.

        But for a Cintiq-like sketching/drawing feature I’ve been waiting for a looong-long time.

      • Uhm, smaller and nicer? The digitzer pen tip is no bigger than a regular pen, where you put the tip is where digital ink comes out, and the intensity of the digital ink varies with how hard you press the pen tip on the screen, so, not
        sure which “normal” pen you use…

      • Manor

        Front facing speakers and split-screen multitasking, that’s all I ask…

      • Xee

        Yeah speakers in general (iPad/iPhone) need an upgrade. The Last iPad Mini speaker was just rubbish. No point in having quality audio if you can hear it!

      • Manor

        My friend bought the htc one m8 yesterday and it’s speakers are amazing!!! Wish Apple will add front facing speakers at least in the iPads

      • R3D

        If you want front facing speakers then get an Android tablet ’cause Apple will never drill holes on the front glass surface.

      • rockdude094

        At the first launch of the iPad, I thought it would run something more ‘beef-up’ than just iOS for iPhone. However, it still runs the same os as the iPhone, which is equally capable at this point. It would be awesome for the iPad to get its own os in which it will really take advantage of the bigger screen and processing power.

    • Josh

      You got what you wish for

    • romeodesigns

      They offer new Colors!

  • Andrew Roth

    IPOD TOUCH 6! AT LEAST MENTION IT!! :p

    • Joel Torres ツ

      I think the reason no one even mentions the iPod lineup is that there haven’t ever been any leaked parts or evidence of the next gen device. We just have to wait and see if Apple does announce it.

    • Jonathan

      iPod Touch 6

      There, mentioned.

  • Tobias9413

    I wish apple would make smart covers for iPhone 6 or 6 plus. They are really nice on the iPads

    • Dao Sasone

      Cuzz dat would b copying samsung n apple doesn’t copies. Yet dey release a bigger ph lik samsung yet again apple dont copy. When will you step up ur game apple. Drop ur pride n innovative something to win me bac.

      • Jonathan

        If Apple doesn’t copy, explain these:
        Large iPhone screens
        Power button on the side
        Swipe back of pages (from Blackberry 10)
        I’m sure there’s more..

      • Tobias9413

        Though I don’t agree with him, you should probably reread his comment. It’s being sarcastic…

      • Tobias9413

        Or maybe they would be bringing something they had on the iPad for a long time now to the iPhone. If anything apple would be copying themselves. From what I remember the smart cover was on the iPad before shamesung had it.

  • avd98

    Not feeling the hype

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    Wish the back the of the iPhone 6 and plus looks that dark

    • Xee

      Was thinking the exact same.

  • Eddiepradom

    I thinks it’s about time we hear read something about the iPad mini. Its been all about the iPad Air 😛

    • R3D

      Since it’s (almost) like the iPad Air, no too much mention should be made.

  • diggitydang

    The iPad Mini Smart Cover I bought was pretty lousy. Although it was thin, it constantly fell over when I tried to stand it up. The viewing angle was also terrible (almost 90 degrees, it felt like). I found a $15 one on eBay that worked much better.

  • Jukkmoddr

    Wow i wish the iphone 6 was designed like the last picture that is beautiful

  • R3D

    Seriously! If iPhone 6 was like in the last image, it would look a hell of a lot better.