iPad Air 2 release date, rumours and leaked images

When is the iPad Air 2 coming out?

Welcome to our iPad Air 2 release date, rumours and leaked images article. Here, we'll be bring you everything we know about the next iPad Air, including speculation about the iPad Air 2 release date, rumours about what new features the iPad Air 2 might have, and iPad Air 2 leaked images as soon as they surface.

Now, some of you reading this will be thinking: "Really? The iPad Air only just came out!"

We know, of course, but the Apple rumour mill just doesn't stop spinning, and we're already hearing whispers about what's next for Apple's iPad Air. It is, of course, merely speculation, as Apple remains as secretive as ever (though not as successfully as it used to). But we know that there are many of you out there who want to know what the rumours say, so we're bringing them to you here.

If you're not one of those people, you might be more interested in our iPad Air review, or our complete guide to buying the iPad. But if you are one for a gossip and are intrigued about what's next for Apple's 10in tablet, then sit back and relax, because we've got the iPad Air 2 covered.

iPad Air 2 rumours

The first place you'll find iPad Air 2 rumours within the iPad Air itself. Prior to the launch of the iPad Air, while most of the rumours were accurate, there were many rumours that seemed likely but actually turned out to be incorrect.

Will the iPad Air 2 have Touch ID fingerprint sensor?

We were pretty certain that the iPad Air would have a fingerprint sensor built into the Home button like the iPhone 5s. However, the iPad Air has no such feature. Initially, we thought that the Touch ID omission could be down to cost, but teardowns suggest that the iPad Air is actually cheaper for Apple to manufacture than previous generations.

It's possible that the iPad Air 2 will have Touch ID, especially following the positive reaction to this feature in the iPhone 5s. It would provide an additional layer of security, and would also make it easier to unlock the device.

Will the iPad Air 2 be gold?

Apple's iPad Air comes in two colours: Space Grey and Silver. Those two colours match closely with the iPhone 5s. However, there's a third iPhone 5s available - Gold - and it's proving rather popular. This leads us to believe that Apple could at least consider making a gold iPad Air.

iPad Air 2 with Smart Cover Keyboard

When Apple sent out its invites to the iPad Air event with the tagline "We've still got a lot to cover" we thought that Apple might be hinting at a Smart Cover Keyboard.

It's something that's been discussed for a while, especially following the launch of Microsoft's Surface, which comes with a keyboard cover.

Apple has filed patents for such accessory in the past, so there's no doubt it's entered the company's mind. Perhaps we'll see a Smart Cover Keyboard in 2014.

Will the iPad Air 2 have a better camera?

One of the complaints about the otherwise well-received iPad Air is the camera, which was barely upgraded from the camera on the iPad 4. It's 5-megapixels, and there's no Slo-Mo mode available.

It seems likely that Apple will want to improve the iPad Air's camera with the next generation as (bafflingly enough) we're seeing more and more people using their iPad as a camera while out and about.

Will the iPad Air 2 have 802.11ac WiFi?

We thought that Apple might upgrade the iPad's wireless to the fast new 802.11ac standard, but the iPad Air didn't get that treatment. Instead, wireless was upgraded to MIMO 802.11n dual-band.

The Mac updates that Apple has released this year have included 802.11ac WiFi support, so we expect it'll want to roll this out across all of its products with wireless capabilities next year.

5 features missing from the iPad Air

Will the next-generation iPad have a bigger display?

This is something we've been hearing about for a while now. Back in July, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple was testing larger screens destined for a bigger iPad.

Then, in October, Barclays Capital analyst Ben A. Reitzes said that Apple's move to a 64-bit architecture with the iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air could hint that Apple is working to develop iOS for a bigger, more powerful iPad.

Most recently, in early November, Chinese site PadNews claimed that Apple manufacturer Foxconn is working with Apple to test production of a bigger iPad with an 11.4in or 12.9in display.

We're still not convinced that a bigger iPad is on its way, at least not one that replaces the 10in iPad. However, Apple seems to be interested in expanding its iPad and iPhone line-up, what with the release of the iPad mini and the iPhone 5c over the past two years, so it's possible that Apple will launch a third iPad model, which is being dubbed iPad Pro.

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iPad Air 2 release date

The iPad Air 2 is probably a long way off. Based on Apple's iPad launch history, it seems most likely that the company will wait until October 2014 to launch the next iPad Air.

However, the launch of the iPad 4 just seven months after the iPad 3 proves that it's possible we'll see a new iPad Air sooner, perhaps in June of next year at Apple's annual WWDC event.

We'll update this article as soon as we receive more information about the iPad Air 2 release date.

iPad Air 2 leaked images

So far, we haven't seen any leaked images of the iPad Air 2, but we'll be putting them here as soon as we come across them.

See also:

iPad Air's usage share hints at opening weekend sales boom

Will Apple release an iPhone Air? Here's what it could look like

10 reasons to buy an iPad