A leaked iPad Air 2 shell shows a collection of changes to the appearance of the new iPad Air model that could arrive in October. The iPad Air 2 design shown in this leak shares one key change with iPhone 6 leaks and also features a new design for 2014, but the iPad Air 2 doesn’t show the same major overhaul as the new iPhone.
Over the weekend three alleged iPad Air 2 photos appeared online showing multiple angles of what could be the new iPad Air for 2014. These images come from Sina Weibo, a Chinese social networking service that is often the source for leaks of new Apple products.
The reliability of Weibo leaks varies based on the source, and this is the first time we’ve seen an Apple leak from this account, but it the offer made by the company posting here is what gets more attention.
In these possible iPad Air 2 design photos we see a new recessed volume button that previous leaks highlighted. The last time we saw this change the iPad’s orientation switch was also not present. The Control Center delivers a software solution that allows Apple to remove this button.
We also see a new speaker grill design that looks a lot like the large single row of holes on the iPhone 6 mock-up, and is a departure from the iPad Air speaker grill which uses more small holes. This is either a step used on dummy units to simplify showing the speaker area or a shift in how the speakers may look across all of Apple’s mobile products.
We also see a new microphone opening on the iPad Air 2 back plate, near the camera. We’ve heard that Apple plans to offer a better iPad camera on the iPad Air 2, as many owners like to use the tablet to record video and take photos.
We see an open Apple logo, like in recent iPhone 6 leaks. Apple previously used this open logo design to aid communication of WiFi, GPS and other radio communication from inside the aluminum shell of the iPad.
Yi Lin Enterprises claims to use “real machine data” and have access to “the original chassis, various accessories, protective sleeve,” based on a machine translation. Based on the window we started to see iPhone 6 backs and mock ups appearing in full force, this could be the start of legitimate iPad Air 2 design leaks ahead of a rumored October iPad Air 2 release.
Companies like this often gain access to information about new Apple products through sources similar to the leaks that we report on. With the information they may create iPad Air 2 mock-ups that companies can use to test the fit of new iPad Air 2 cases. This is what we see with the iPhone 6 mock-ups that sell for as little as $15 on eBay now.
iPad Air 2 design changes aren’t the only upgrades we could see this year. Reports also point to a new home button with Touch ID, that will link up with iOS 8 features that extend the service. Shoppers can also expect a new Apple A8 processor that could enable a few exclusive iPad Air 2 features this fall. We expect the same 9.7-inch Retina display as on the iPad Air. This iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air comparison outlines other potential changes to the iPad Air 2 design and specs. The iPad Air 2 release date is rumored for October.
iPad mini With Retina Display
Do yourself a favor and check out Apple's iPad mini before you buy the iPad Air. It comes with many of the same features, it's just a little more portable. Cheaper, too.