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article imageReports: iPad Mini 4 to be a 'shrunken Air 2', just 6.1mm thick

By James Walker     Jul 26, 2015 in Technology
A report has claimed that Apple's iPad Mini 4 will be a substantial upgrade over the Mini 3 and will be based around the Air 2. It also reveals that Apple could be working on three different iPad lines this year across the Mini, Air and upcoming Pro.
Apple Insider writes that "industry sources" told the Japanese-language Apple news site Macotakara of the details on Saturday. Last year's iPad Mini 3 offered little more than the introduction of a TouchID fingerprint sensor but it looks like Apple has been much busier this year.
Insiders apparently call the Mini 4 a "shrunken version of the iPad Air 2." It includes most of the hardware specifications of the Air but in a much smaller and slimmer package.
Over 1.4mm of thickness has been taken off to reduce the Mini 4 to just 6.1mm thick. That would be a remarkable achievement if true but is likely to also boost the price of the Mini because it includes high-end hardware too.
That includes the laminated, anti-reflective display of the Air 2, an 8MP iSight camera and the A8-series processor that's used in the Air 2. Presumably, the Mini 4 will support more of the new iOS 9 features, such as split-screen multitasking.
This report is interesting because other rumours have suggested Apple may be preparing to kill off the iPad Mini entirely this year. Sales have been falling and it has been suggested that the company wants to concentrate on the larger members of the iPad family, creating stronger offerings for professionals. These specifications appear to contradict that as far from the "last Mini" that some had expected this seems to be a full-blown revival of the line.
Macotakara also claims that an update to the iPad Air itself will be revealed, the iPad Air 3. This is tipped to have the same chassis as the current model so there won't be any changes to size or width. Instead, the tablet will now be powered by an A9 processor which will also be used in the next iPhone.
Other rumours have previously claimed that the Air would not be getting updated this year. It is thought that Apple will finally unveil its 12.9-inch rival to Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, the iPad Pro, and that the pressure on Apple's suppliers to build this device will prevent the company from placing orders for the iPad Air as well.
If Macotakara's report is correct then we could be seeing three new iPads this year — the Pro, Air and Mini — as well as two iPhones, the 6S and 6S Plus. As with all rumours, heed this with caution though, especially as it seems to contradict several previous reports. The new devices — whatever they are — are expected to be officially unveiled in September.
More about Apple, iPad, iPad air, iPad Mini, ipad pro
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