2Yes, the Gold Version Is Coming
Recent reports have said that Apple is planning to launch a gold version of the iPad Air to complement its current models. The gold version seems like a natural extension of Apple’s product line and has proven successful for the iPhone, so it would make sense for the company to offer that with its tablets.
3A Larger Screen? Not Just Yet
Apple is reportedly working on a 12.9-inch iPad. However, it’s highly unlikely that the device will launch this year. In fact, the latest reports suggest that the larger-screen iPad won’t be available until sometime next year and will be known as the iPad Pro. While it would be nice to see a giant iPad, it’s not happening this year.
4Touch ID Will Be Available, Of Course
5Expect the A8 Processor to Make Its Debut
Apple has made great strides in the power and performance of its A8 chip, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it comes to the new slate of iPads. The A8, along with an M8 motion coprocessor, allow for better app performance, some new fitness features to leverage health, and much more. Look for the A8 to come to the new line of iPads this year.
6NFC for Apple Pay Makes Sense
7Apple Needs Few Design Changes
No major design changes are expected this year to the iPad line. In fact, it’s quite possible that the iPad Air will look exactly the same this year as it did in 2013. Apple hasn’t confirmed that’s the case, of course, but nearly all analysts and rumors suggest the design update will come down in 2015.
8How Important is an iPad Mini Update?
Those looking for a new iPad Mini this year might be a little disappointed. According to the latest rumors, Apple has no plans to update the iPad Mini this year and will instead focus its efforts on the iPad Air. Next year, the iPad Mini will get its time to shine, according to the reports. It makes sense. The iPad Mini is a strong contender in the lower-end of the tablet space, and spending too much time improving it when a bigger option is coming next year doesn’t make much sense.
9Add Integration With Apple Watch
Since the iPhone 6 comes with support for Apple Watch, it would seem likely that the iPad will also support the wearable device. Apple made clear in its conversation about Apple Watch that users would need to have the iPhone connected to Apple Watch to make it work, but it seems likely that Apple wouldn’t limit that solely to the smartphone. Look for Apple Watch integration in the iPad.
10A Sapphire Screen Seems Extremely Unlikely
Although rumors have suggested that a sapphire screen could be coming to the iPad, it seems unlikely. After all, those same rumors said that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would have sapphire screens, but they do not. Only the screen on Apple Watch is sapphire. Look for sapphire to come to the iPad Air’s lens and TouchID protection, but nothing else.
11Launch New iPads in October at the Same Price
Ultimately, the new line of iPads will more than likely be made available this October. And if Apple follows its previous pricing strategy, the company will offer the device at the same $499 starting price at which it’s currently offering the iPad Air. Whether Apple will hold a special press event or simply announce the new devices in a press release remains to be seen.