Rounding up a long week of ‘iPhone 6′ rumours and leaks, Japanese publication ASCII Plus has shared several new images of what it claims is a mockup of Apple’s next-generation iPad Air.
The images, first spotted by GforGames, shows the device next to a current-generation iPad Air. Perhaps the most notable difference between the two is the inclusion of a Touch ID-enabled home button on the ‘iPad Air 2′ mockup, a feature that has been widely rumoured for the device.
Last month, highly reliable Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo had reiterated in a research note that Apple would be incorporating Touch ID into its next-generation iPad Air and iPad Mini, claiming that shipments of the fingerprint sensor would hit 120 million units this year.
Today, Chinese media reports have corroborated Kuo’s claims, adding that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), Apple’s primary supplier of Touch ID sensors, has expanded its 8-inch chip fabrication plant to meet the increased production load (via G for Games).
Earlier today the Chinese media has reported that, last week, TSMC has expanded its 8-inch chip plant where the Touch ID sensors are and will be assembled. This isn’t the first time we learn that TSMC is invested not only in the creation of Apple’s next-gen A8 chip, but also in assembling the Touch ID modules, as back in May we’ve learned that the semiconductor manufacturer and Apple have already agreed on using the 8-inch facility for the creation of the fingerprint scanner, as opposed to a 12-inch facility.
French site Nowhereelse.fr has just posted a new of photos showcasing an alleged prototype of an “iPad Air 2″, which it claims is being auctioned by Japanese mobile site KingMobile (via Google Translate).
The most notable feature of the mock-up, which the French site claims is a “perfect replica” of Apple’s next-generation tablet, is the inclusion of a Touch ID-enabled home button. The rest of the device appears similar to the current iPad Air, but Nowhereelse does point out that the lock button on the iPad is “mysteriously” missing.
Apple’s next-generation iPad Air is slated to enter production this month, according to Korean news agency ETNews (via AmongTech).
Unsurprisingly, the device is said to feature a faster A8 processor (with “50% more performance than the previous A7 chip”) and a “drastically-improved” 8 mega-pixel camera. The new iPad Air will also retain the same design as the first-generation model, and will reportedly maintain the same 7.5 mm thickness.
The report, citing “industry sources”, claims that LG Display will begin initial production of displays for the device this month, with a total production of 6.2 million units scheduled for the period of June to September. Samsung and Sharp will join in when the device enters mass production next month.
Apple announced in a press release today that it will be teaming up with Japan’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo to offer the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display beginning June 10.
“With the addition of iPad alongside iPhone, we now offer the complete lineup of Japan’s most popular mobile devices on the nation’s most reliable LTE network,” said Kaoru Kato, President and CEO of NTT DOCOMO, INC. “We know our customers will enjoy using iPad Air and iPad mini, and anticipate that new customers will look to experience these amazing devices on our high-quality network with our new billing plan.”
The two companies signed a landmark deal last year to offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in Japan, which led to a significant boost in Apple’s market share in the country. Apple is presumably hoping for a similar result with the iPad this time round.
Apple will incorporate Touch ID into all new models of iPhone and iPad, according to a new research note by renowned Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo (via Appleinsider). As a result, Touch ID shipments are expected to increase almost fourfold to 120 million units this year.
According to noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to embed Touch ID in every non-iPod iOS device launched this year, including both iPhone 6 versions, the second-generation iPad Air and refreshed iPad mini with Retina display.
The fingerprint sensor technology was introduced with the iPhone 5s last year and has since been exclusive to the device. Apple updated both its 9.7-inch iPad and 7.9-inch iPad Mini product lines subsequently, but chose to leave the feature out presumably due to limited production quantities.
As part of its ongoing “Your Verse” campaign for the iPad Air, Apple today debuted two new video ads featuring the “verses” of music conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen and travel writer Cherie King.
The first ad, titled “Esa-Pekka’s Verse”, showcases the capabilities of the iPad in music composition via Salonen’s story. In a bid to “demystify” the workings of orchestra music, the Finnish maestro developed an app called “The Orchestra”, which provides users with an insight into the background and history of symphony orchestra. The app is featured prominently in the one-minute ad, along with various scenes of how Salonen uses the iPad Air to create classical music compositions and conduct orchestral sessions.
The Orchestra harnesses the power of iPad Air to provide users with an interactive, immersive look at all the elements of an orchestra. “All of a sudden, what looks kind of odd and distant and maybe a little abstract becomes much more real and normal,” Salonen says. “I’d be delighted if somebody would discover classical music through The Orchestra.”
British luxury automaker Bentley today posted a short documentary (below) to YouTube illustrating the design philosophy and history behind its cars (via The Loop). The four-and-a-half minute clip, titled “Intelligent Details”, was ‘shot entirely on an iPhone 5s’ and ‘assembled on an iPad Air’.
The video, which is narrated by Bentley’s Director of Design Luc Donckerwolk and Head of Exterior Design SangYup Lee, was filmed in a Bentley Mulsanne in New York and highlights the duo’s thought process behind the design of the limousine.
Intelligent Details focuses on what inspires Luc and SangYup in their roles as design leaders for Bentley Motors. The film highlights the fusion of luxury, performance and technology within the Bentley Mulsanne and reveals the manner in which Intelligent Details was filmed, assembled and edited using the in-car connectivity and entertainment platform.
iOS 8 will reportedly feature split-screen multi-tasking for iPads, claims 9to5Mac, citing sources with knowledge of the software’s development. The feature is designed for iPads with 9.7-inch screens – currently the iPad Air and iPad with Retina Display – and might not work with the smaller iPad Mini.
The feature, which will only work in landscape mode, will allow users to open and run two applications side-by-side, and even allow for interaction between apps. Support for split-screen multi-tasking has been one of the most requested features for the iPad, with users even creating mockup concepts of how they envision it to work.
The report notes that Apple’s decision to introduce the feature for its iPads indicates that the company is taking a leaf out of rival Microsoft’s book. Microsoft has a similar ‘snap’ multi-tasking feature for its Surface tablets, and the Redmont company had previously taken a dig at the iPad’s ‘inability’ to multi-task via its comparison ads.
Despite the two companies’ ongoing legal battles, Samsung has become the No. 1 display supplier for Apple’s iPads, according to a report by market research firm Display Search (via CNET). The South Korean electronics giant shipped 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels for Apple’s iPad Air and iPad with Retina Display in the first quarter of 2014.
The market researcher said Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution, according to a reportfrom BrightWire News, which cited a ZDNet Asia (Korean language) report.
In contrast, Apple’s other major display supplier LG, saw its share of shipments fall to 38 per cent during the same period. LG had previously shipped 61 per cent of iPad displays in the last quarter of 2013.