The next-generation iPad is one of the most anticipated tablets of the year, so there's been lots of speculation and rumours about the new iPad (dubbed iPad Air 2 or iPad 6) throughout 2014 so far. Here, we've collected all of those rumours into one place, so you'll know everything there is to know about the 2014 iPad so far. We've got iPad 6 release date rumours, iPad 6 price rumours and speculation about new iPad 6 features. We've also got some iPad 6 pictures to show you.
We'll let you know how plausible we think each of the iPad 6 rumours are, and we'll share our opinion about what the experts here at PC Advisor are expecting from Apple's next tablet. Continue reading to find out more about the iPad 6 release date and its new features. See also: 25 best tablets of 2014
iPad 6 release date: When is the next iPad coming out?
Looking back over Apple's iPad launch history, it's quite easy to predict when the iPad 6 will come out. We have had some surprises from the company, but Apple seems to have settled in to a routine of October iPad events, so that's the most likely prediction we've heard so far.
To help you get a better idea of Apple's iPad launch history, here are the release dates of each of the iPads since the first one was unveiled in 2010.
- Original iPad - March, 2010
- iPad 2 - March, 2011
- New iPad (iPad 3) - March, 2012
- iPad with Retina Display (iPad 4) - October, 2012
- iPad Air - October, 2013
- iPad mini - October, 2012
- iPad mini with Retina Display (iPad mini 2) - October, 2013
Well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says that we should expect the iPad Air earlier than October, though, so it's still possible that Apple may decide to shake things up a little and release a new iPad earlier than expected.
One piece of evidence to back up the theory that new iPads could be coming sooner than October is the appearance of new iPad models in the list of hardware supported by iOS 7.1.
References to support for 'iPad 4,5' and 'iPad 4,6' were spotted in the code of the iOS update by 9To5Mac, standing out because they don't correspond with the known labels for current and previous iPads. One of these could correspond with the iPad 6, and the other with the iPad mini 3.
See also: iPhone 6 release date rumours
iPad 6 rumours at a glance
October release9.7in screenA8 processor802.11ac WiFiTouch ID fingerprint sensorSmart Cover Keyboard accessoryiOS 8Improved cameraLightning headphones
iPad 6 rumours: Screen size
We expect that the iPad 6 will have the same 9.7in display as the iPad Air, but it's possible that it will have a better resolution, and it could have a new lighter and thinner IGZO screen for higher reaction speed in addition to improved power efficiency.
iPad 6 rumours: Design
Overall, we expect the design of the next iPad to stay the same as the iPad Air, which represented the first iPad redesign since the iPad 2 arrived back in 2011. It's possible that Apple will find a way to shave a few millimetres off of the iPad 6's thickness, and in turn make it even lighter, particularly because rivals such as Samsung and Sony have recently launched tablets that are thinner and lighter than Apple's offering. See: iPad Air vs Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison
It's possible that there will be a new Gold model of the iPad Air when the next generation arrives, though. The iPhone 5S is available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold, while the iPad Air is available in both Silver and Space Grey but not Gold at present. See also: iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
iPad 6 rumours: Specs
It's highly likely that the iPad 6 will come with a new, faster processor. We're expecting an A8 chip in the iPad 6, the successor to the A7 chip found in the iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and iPhone 5S.
The iPad 6 could also come with the new, faster 802.11ac wireless standard, which the iPad Air currently lacks. We're expecting this feature in the iPhone 6, too.
iPad 6 rumours: New features
It was a bit of a surprise when the iPad Air arrived in October 2013 without a Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the Home button. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor debuted with the iPhone 5S in September 2013, and enables users to unlock the iPhone using their fingerprint, and also allows quick Apple ID authentication.
Reports in May suggested that every new iPhone and iPad that launches in 2014 will have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Plus, alleged iPad 6 prototypes (which you can see later in this article) show a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, adding further evidence to the theory that the technology is coming to the iPad soon.
There could also be a Smart Cover Keyboard similar to the Microsoft Surface keyboard. It's an accessory that's been talked about for while now, especially since Apple it was discovered that Apple has filed patents for such product.
iPad 6 rumours: Price
We think Apple will probably keep the price of the iPad Air the same or similar with the next generation. It currently starts at £399 for the WiFi-only models, and £499 for the WiFi plus Cellular models.
iPad 6 rumours: iOS 8
Apple has already shown off iOS 8, the new version of its mobile operating system that we expect will arrive in September with the iPhone 6. The iPad 6 is likely to ship with iOS 8 installed, which means you'll get the improved Photos, Messages, Spotlight and Safari features, and you'll also get new interactive widgets, a QuickType keyboard, Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, Connectivity features and a new generation of apps that can communicate with one another like never before.
One iOS 8 feature we're hoping Apple has yet to show us is split-screen multitasking, which could come to the iPad 6. One developer claims to have spotted evidence that a multitasking feature is coming to the iPad with iOS 8, but we'll have to wait and see whether this rumour is accurate. We certainly hope so, as the ability to run two apps side by side is something we feel the iPad is missing.
iPad 6 rumours: Camera
The iPad Air camera is quite poor for a flagship tablet these days, though we still don't think tablets are a good device for taking photographs with, anyway. Nonetheless we expect an improved camera with the iPad 6.
The iPad Air has a 5Mp camera with none of the extra features you get with the iPhone 5S, so it seems likely that Apple will focus some of its efforts in making the camera better with its next tablet. The front-facing camera could do with an improvement, too, as it's often used for video calling.
iPad 6 rumours: Lightning headphones
The iPad 6 could lack a 3.5mm headphone jack, because Apple has recently announced that third-party manufacturers can make headphones that connect to iOS devices via the iPad's Lightning port, which is also used for charging and syncing the device.
Apple could begin shipping iPads and iPhones with new Lightning Earpods, too.
iPad 6 rumours: Leaked images
There haven't been many leaked images of the iPad 6 yet, but a series of photographs that emerged on 18 June show an iPad Air with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a slight design modification involving the buttons on the side of the device, and peculiar lack of a lock button.
The photos, published by Nowhereelse.fr, come from sources in Asia, the reliability of which is unknown.