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Summary:

The follow-up to last year’s iPad Air should arrive late in the third-quarter with both a new processor and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor Apple built for the iPhone 5s says one analyst with a pretty solid track record of product predictions.

iPad mini vs ipad air
photo: Apple

If you had to guess how Apple will build a new iPad model based on the current iPad Air, surely a new processor would be part of your thoughts. That’s what Apple intends to do, says one analyst with a relatively good track record on figuring out Apple’s next product moves. The iPad Air 2 will use a new A8 chip and include the Touch ID fingerprint reader, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

ipad air wide

Apple Insider took a peek at Kuo’s most recent research note for Apple, which includes several educated guesses. Kuo expects a late third-quarter launch for the iPad Air 2 and thinks that TSMC will build the new A8 chip for Apple, which would take business away from Samsung.

TSMC is reportedly already building the yet-unannounced A8 chips for Apple, which makes sense from a timing perspective: Apple will likely need millions of the chips for multiple products in the next few months, including the next iPhone and iPad mini with retina display. In fact, Kuo suspects that a new iPad mini will see the same upgrades as the iPad Air 2, including touch ID support.

As far as that rumored 12.9-inch iPad, Kuo thinks Apple is working on it but doesn’t expect to see a product launch until next year. The larger screen may require some tweaking to optimize the iOS interface for a bigger tablet and productivity boost. That’s interesting given the timing of personnel changes in Apple’s iOS development group: Apple’s human interface VP has left the company and Jony Ive is taking over all design aspects.

  1. Kevin, has anyone ever met this Ming-Chi Kuo in real life? Can GigaOm verify he or she really exists? What’s to say this person is not fictional and actually a plant for Apple to leak information? Or let’s say Ming-Chi Kuo is a real person, what’s to say Apple doesn’t covertly leak rumors to this person in order to gain market reaction prior to a new product release? For example, Ming-Chi Kuo allegedly stated recently that the iWatch will sell for as much as $1,000 USD or something to that effect. I could easily imagine Apple purposefully seeding this rumor, and then sitting back and parsing the reactions on various web sites (such as GigaOm, Business Insider, Yahoo News, the Apple fan boys like Gruber and his chums, etc.). Apple must think that all or most people were born yesterday, but they are quite wrong if this is Tim Cook’s and/or Phil Schiller’s strategy, because some of us were not born yesterday and are wise enough to know that when something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, its probabilistically a duck (and we don’t need “big data” or “internet of things” or “cloud computing” etc. to understand it). So Apple, how’s your pal Ming-Chi Kuo doing these days? So GigaOm, I can’t wait to read Matt Ingram’s investigative journalistic story uncovering the mysteries of Ming-Chi Kuo and who his real source of info is (I bet its not Ed Snoweden LOL).

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