Renowned Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo weighed in on several Apple products Wednesday, including the future iterations of the iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini. While not much has been said about Apple’s tablet line, Kuo thinks Apple may be changing its game plan this year. In an extensive report, Kuo, who is employed by KGI Securities, described where the iPad line will be going in 2014.
“We think the upgraded iPad Air will be launched earlier in 2014 than the iPad Air was in 2013. The biggest changes will be A8 processor, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition), and main camera resolution of 8MP.”
While Kuo agreed to rumors that the next iPad will see the A8 processor, the successor to the A7 chip that has been described as “desktop class,” he threw in some new rumors into the pot. While Apple is normally very consistent with its release dates, Kuo suggests that the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad Mini will see an earlier third-quarter launch. The current tablets were announced in October and launched on the first of November. Kuo believes that the next iPads will release before the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which is rumored to launch in late September.
Many analysts have speculated that the Retina Mini iPad may not see a refresh this year, but Kuo and KGI Securities has determined it will.
“We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display.”
The security firm also shot down rumors that Apple will release a large version of the iPad. Kuo believes that Apple is working on a 12.9-inch iPad, repeating what he has said in previous reports from February and October that the company will not release it in 2014.