While certain reports claimed that Apple will only have one new iPad version in stores this year, a 9.7-inch redesigned iPad Air 2 model supposed to offer better specs than its predecessor, Japanese Apple blog Macotakara has learned that a Retina iPad Mini 2 is also coming this week.
Previous reports suggested that Apple’s third iPad mini model, and the second-generation to pack a Retina display, will only launch at some point in 2015, with well-known Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo also casting doubts on a 2014 Retina iPad mini 2 launch.
Macotakara says the new iPad mini will also have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a Retina display, although not many other details about the device are offered. Recent component leaks have revealed the iPad Air 2 will have a faster A8X processor and 2GB of RAM, while resources discovered in iOS 8.1 beta suggest some of Apple’s upcoming tablets may offer users “Retina HD” displays, or higher-resolution screens than current models.
The iPad mini is likely to have a similar design to the iPad Air 2, which is expected to be slimmer than last year’s iPad Air, and feature other changes when it comes to speaker grille, microphone placements, and volume buttons. Interestingly, the iPad Air 2 is going to lose the mute/orientation button, assuming recent leaks are accurate, in which case the Retina iPad mini is also expected to lack a mute button.
Macotakara also says that Apple on Thursday will introduce new Smart Covers and Smart Cases for the upcoming tablets.