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Apple gears up to intro iPad Air 2 on October 16, iPad mini 3 on the back burner?

Focused primarily on getting iPhone supply in line with demand, and the Apple Watch all ready for an early 2015 launch, Cupertino will likely give its iPad roster a more modest, restrained upgrade than usual.

iPad Air 2

Perhaps feeling the heat from its perennially occupied rivals, Apple is looking to stretch out its traditionally compressed product announcement schedule as it enters new categories and tackles uncharted territory.

Before long, we could be seeing Tim Cook host as many keynotes as Samsung’s JK Shin, albeit you have to wonder just how expensive booking U2 for, say, five or six shows a year can get. Jokes aside, rumor is iPad Air’s sequel, aptly called the iPad Air 2, will see daylight on October 16, which would be mere weeks on the heels of the iPhone 6/6 Plus public debut.

Further, the purported world’s thinnest tablet will be reportedly paired with an iMac refresh and OS X Yosemite software unveil, leaving the follow-up to the iPad mini 2, aka iPad mini with Retina, for 2015. Bummer?

Maybe not, since it gives Apple extra time to improve the already impressive Mini in a noticeable way, not to mention it could aid into setting up quite the memorable spring 2015 event. That’s because, if left on hold, the iPad mini 3 should break cover next to the long-in-development and elusive 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

iPad-mini-Retina

Unless Apple pulls a fast one and takes the wraps off all three pads next week. Which makes little sense, given the guaranteed Retina iMac entry and the reported toned-down nature of the October 16 gathering. Set to take place at Apple’s Town Hall venue in Cupertino, this will have a much shorter guest list and cameos by rock legends seem out of the question.

Talking specifics, the iPad Air 2 is expected, incredibly enough, to shave at least half of mm off the first-gen’s slender figure, bringing the thinness to no more than 7 mm. Under the hood, a spanking new A8 chip will no doubt take care of business, likely aided by an unprecedented 2 GB RAM.

The list of upgrades should also include Touch ID fingerprint scanning, limited Apple Pay support (with no NFC, that is), as well as an 8 MP rear-facing camera. Oh, yeah, and the classic gray/black and silver/white color options will be joined by a snazzy gold version, because, as we all know, gold is best.

Don’t forget about the Retina display’s anti-reflective coating either, or the ditching of the traditional entry-level 16 GB storage variation to allow for better 128 GB promotion.

Sources: Recode, Redmond Pie, Benzinga, 9to5Mac

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