Apple’s iPad Air 2 may be getting even thinner, according to technology blog The Michael Report, which claims to have acquired illustrations and pictures of the new iPad from unnamed Apple sources. Though the blog chose not to publish the obtained images of the iPad, it did share a number of details of Apple's upgrade to the iPad Air line.
While huge departures from the current iPad Air design aren’t expected, the Apple tablet is slated to contain a number of improvements.
The iPad Air 2 is said to be 7 mm thin this time around, 0.5 mm thinner than the original iPad Air, but its front doesn’t have any noticeable external design difference. Following the design trends of the iPhone 5C, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2’s speaker grills are said to be redesigned with larger holes that only take up a single row of space.
To achieve a thinner design, the company may be using a fully laminated display, which eliminates the gap between the iPad’s Retina display and the touchscreen display cover. Apple currently uses this process on a number of displays for its products, namely the iPhone 6 and the iMac. But the company may have had to make some sacrifices as well to achieve a thinner design. The mute and vibration switch was reportedly removed from the iPad Air 2 to achieve just that, according to The Michael Report.
The iPad Air 2’s internals don’t come as much of a surprise with an A8 processor variant expected to end up on the tablet along with 2GB of RAM. This falls in line with a number of rumors that have indicated that Apple may also introduce an upgraded A8 to power what is said to be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The front camera is also expected to get a bump to 720p HD quality and the rear camera may get an upgrade to 8MP.
As for storage, it’s anyone’s guess here. Apple may "ditch the 16GB option" of the iPad Air 2 in favor of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options, according to the report. But it’s also possible that Apple may make options similar to the iPhone 6 family. The company was largely expected to ditch 16GB and make 32GB the base model for storage in the iPhone 6, but instead it axed the 32GB option and replaced it with 64GB.
The biggest change to the iPad Air 2 is expected to be Apple’s introduction of Touch ID to the tablet. While the company is also expected to launch its payment service, Apple Pay, on the iPad Air 2, it's unknown if it will also include near-field communication technology used in the iPhone 6.
The Apple iPad Air 2 is expected to be unveiled on Oct. 16, along with a new iPad Mini model.