KGI: iPad Air 2 Planned with Touch ID Sensors, A8 Chips

Apple is putting fingerprint recognition technology in its upcoming iPads

A new wave of iPads is coming this year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a lengthy white paper he outlines the key product launches / upgrades planned by the Cupertino company for 2014, including a projection regarding two potential new iPads with fingerprint sensors.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is one of the more reliable analysts whose predictions usually pan out, so he is obviously getting some attention in the media. His forecast for Apple’s 2014 looks promising, and one of the key product upgrades touted in his research note includes the iPad.

Specifically, Kuo says there will be a second generation of iPad Airs boasting the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted with the iPhone 5s in 2013. The tablet will gain a faster processor (pretty much a given at this point) and its design will remain unchanged. The device will further get an enhanced camera module.

“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,” he writes.

As for the iPad mini, a stripped down version of the bigger iPad with pretty much the same feature set but sporting a smaller display, it too is getting a Touch ID sensor and a processor uptick. Nothing is said about the mini’s camera, though.

“...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,” Kuo adds.

It makes sense for Tim Cook and Co. to iterate the iPad line, just as it makes sense for the iPhone to receive an annual refresh. With both devices running what is essentially the same OS (and handling the same set of applications), it would be unwise for the Cupertino mammoth to leave tablets behind in terms of processing power and aspects like security.

iPads still make up a big chunk of Apple’s yearly revenue but, as people tend to hold on to these things for longer than a year, sales have begun to slow down. However, the company is said to have some all-new products planned for launch this year, such as the elusive iWatch and a new version of its TV box.

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