While Apple is set to announce new iPads later this week on October 16, the company might not actually launch them until next week.
According to MacRumors, Apple is expected to announce the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on October 16, but won’t actually launch them to the public until Friday, October 24.
While we’re disappointed at this possibility, it’s consistent with Apple’s previous launch timelines for the iPad and iPhone, releasing them on Fridays at the start of the weekend.
There’s no word on the possibility of pre-orders, but we wouldn’t be surprised either way. The iPhone 6 saw pre-orders this year, but Apple skipped pre-orders with the iPad mini with Retina display last year, so it’s a toss-up at this point.
While we’re only a couple of days away from Apple’s press event, the rumor hill has kept busy. We’ve already seen several leaked photos claiming to be images of the iPad Air 2, giving us a good idea on what to expect on Thursday. However, not a whole lot is known about the iPad Air 2 or the iPad mini 3 overall.
The new iPad will supposedly only be 7mm thick, making it just as thin as the iPhone 6, which is quite incredible for a tablet.
The iPad Air 2 isn’t expected to get a huge redesign, as the iPad Air was the model to see a major refresh. Apple typically doesn’t overhaul its products’ designs until a couple of generations have passed, so we can expect the iPad Air 2 to keep the same overall look as the iPad Air, except for some small, but impactful changes.
The new iPad could come with recessed volume and power buttons, as well as a redesigned speaker grille. The volume buttons look to keep the same design as the iPad Air, but are simply recessed slightly into the body of the tablet. As for the speaker grille, the leaked photos that we’ve seen show the iPad sporting a single horizontal line of larger holes, which is a drastic difference than the smaller holes that were arranged in two rows on the iPad Air.
Furthermore, it’s already been rumored a couple times this year that the iPad would get Touch ID fingerprint sensor capabilities. We even saw hints of Touch ID capabilities in the code of iOS 7.1 back in April, and a few days later we heard that one of Apple’s part suppliers were cranking out Touch ID fingerprint sensors in large quantities.
Touch ID was definitely one of the features that users were looking forward to ahead of the iPad Air event back in October last year, especially after it was introduced on the new iPhone 5s just a month earlier, but Apple sadly did not deliver such a feature.
If you’re interested in what Apple could announce on Thursday, you can watch the live stream by simply navigating to Apple’s livestream webpage on October 16 at 1pm ET to watch the event live as it happens. Besides new iPads, Apple could also launch iOS 8.1, as well as release new iMacs and OS X Yosemite.
Apple’s last event where it announced the iPhone 6 saw a bit of trouble with the live stream, with viewers complaining about lag and freeze-ups that essentially made it unwatchable. However, hopefully the company learned from the bugs and will offer a much better live stream this time around.