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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, who has a strong Apple product prediction track record, is out with a new report today with his expectations for the iPad line in 2014:

  • The iPad 2 will be discontinued in Q1 2014, and this lines up with a report from earlier this week. The iPad 2 has been on sale since March of 2011 and it sports old technologies such as a non-Retina display, 30-pin dock connector, and A5 processor, making it due for discontinuation. The iPad 2 has, however, remained popular in the education market, so perhaps Apple will keep that model around as an educational-only version of the iPad.
  • The fourth-generation iPad will go back into mass production in Q1 2014. Just like Apple brought the iPhone 4 back (at least for some regions), Kuo says the iPad 4 will be making an encore. The reasoning is unclear (perhaps to replace the iPad 2), but the device’s technologies are still strong with the Retina display, Lightning connector, and A6X system-on-a-chip.
  • The iPad Air will be updated in late Q3. Kuo says that this new iPad (unsurprisingly) will gain a more advanced processor (the A8 in all likelihood) and the Touch ID fingerprint reader from the iPhone 5s. A late Q3 launch would mean that the new iPad would arrive earlier than the October/November timeframe of last year’s models.
  • Chances of a new iPad mini in 2014 are “slim,” according to Kuo due to the popularity of the iPad Air and Apple’s focus on developing other new products this year. The iPad mini was updated with the A7 chip and Retina display in late-2013, so the current technology is fairly stable, and this makes an update not truly necessary this year.
  • Bigger iPad unlikely to launch this year. While Kuo says Apple is certainly developing a 12.9-inch version of the iPad to drive new applications, he says a 2014 launch is unlikely. If it happens this year, shipments will be limited. Why? Kuo says Apple’s software teams are focusing on finishing up the software for the impending iWatch, which is taking priority over the software enhancements necessary for a larger iPad display.

So, unlike in 2012 or 2013, Kuo is not expecting multiple new iPads this year. Instead, Apple will replace the aging iPad 2 with the faster iPad 4, keep the iPad mini at status quo, and beef up the popular iPad Air with the latest technologies.

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11 Responses to “KGI: iPad 2 done and iPad 4 back in Q1, iPad Air with A8 + Touch ID in Q3, bigger iPad & new Mini unlikely in ’14”

  1. Apple is NOT going to update the iPad Air and not the iPad mini at the exact same time.

  2. No way will Apple update the Air without updating the mini.

  3. OneOkami says:

    I can see Apple adding Touch ID to the mini this year but I don’t think i’ll be too surprised if it goes idle. I’m looking forward to finally replacing my 3rd generation iPad. It has run iOS 7 well enough but the Air is a very welcome improvement in physical comfort and I want the Touch ID because my iPad does travel around with me a lot.

    • Well if it goes idle then it’s Apple basically saying they care more about the full size iPad. And it better get a price reduction.

      I keep hearing that Apple can only do so much. I think that’s bunk. If Apple doesn’t have the resources to update both iPads this year then they’re in serious trouble.

  4. Samir Shah says:

    Apple does not have time. Market does not care whether Apple has software enough software developers or not.

    Apple winged iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina from April to late fall and they were somewhat successful. But I doubt whether Apple can wing it this time specially with iPad Pro. iPad Pro is the vehicle that can take a 4K display much easier than iPad Air (and her derivatives) or iPad Mini Retina because of IPad Pro’s size and also iPad Pro can take OS X for the same reason. By 2015 there will be enough Android/Windows dual boot 13″ machines with 4K which Apple has to compete with.

    iPad Mini with Retina was hopelessly late and came with a price INCREASE. So iPad Mini Retina was crippled from the beginning. I think this was for done for profit margins. The price difference will get even bigger as time goes and other competitors come in. Can Apple sell iPad Mini Retina in this environment? I doubt it.

    iPad Air version two will have A8 processor, Touch ID and better camera. Will that be enough difference from iPad Air version one and other competitors.

    I think Apple is going from ‘confidance’ to ‘overconfidance’ and ‘pride’ to ‘hubris’. The fanboys will not tell you this. Having ‘small company culture’ is OK but when are you ging to realize that you are now a big company.

    • Sorry but when you threw in the word fanboy you basically gave your argument zero credibility.

    • Tallest Skil says:

      >>iPad Mini with Retina was hopelessly late

      And you’re wrong.

      >>and came with a price INCREASE

      Your problem with this is what?

      >>I doubt it.

      Good for you. Apple posted record sales and record profits EVERY QUARTER of the recession. You don’t have a clue what you’re on about.

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  6. Allright here’s the thing. The A8 iPad w/ Touch ID will certainly come to market sometime in 2014. But it would be more likely the iPad 2 gets replaced with the iPad Air, rather than the 4th gen. For the sake of making the best progress on iOS as a platform, Apple wants to kill non-64bit (and non-retina) devices asap. Makes perfect sense. The mini with retina display got the A7 SoC and skipped the A6(X) altogether.

  7. Jay Geeo says:

    why does everybody keep glossing over the fact that ipad mini with its retina display and all still sucks at reproducing accurate color, 2 million pixels of dull washed out looking colors..that’s why people are not buying it, and these so-called experts always fail to even acknowledge the issue with the poor gamut reproduction