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Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Release Date, Latest Rumors Roundup

( [email protected] ) Jun 05, 2014 04:33 PM EDT

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With the WWDC 2014 developers conference ending soon, Apple will soon begin a new round of hardware announcements that may shed new light on the rumored iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. Here is a recap of the latest rumors so far.

Apple is Cleaning House, and Slashing Prices

Everywhere, there are signs of things to come. Since May, Apple has been handing out discounts on their current tablet devices that included the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2.  

Just last week, AppleInsider reported that Apple had slashed $30 off the original 'iPad Air', with the resulting price of $469. The iPad Mini with Retina display -- also known as the 'iPad Mini 2' -- had a $20 discount that reduced the device to $379.

"It's sort of unheard of," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. "I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education."

The recent price reductions have fueled rumors that perhaps Apple is liquidating its current iPad inventory for newer and better products. Apple may be in the mood for generosity, but only because it can afford to do so.

It is not entirely impossible for Apple to be preparing for a new wave of mobile devices that are sure to start hitting the shelves this coming fall. Many of Apple's current-gen iPhone and iPads had their release dates at around this time.

Even though the most current iPad Air and iPad Mini is still in production, it does not rule out Apple potentially filling the shelves with newer products. Normally, significant price reductions on current devices often precede mass release dates. Given the current developments, the likelihood Apple is bringing new products this coming fall is very high.

New Fingerprint Security Feature for All Future Apple Mobile Device

The web is currently rife with rumors suggesting that Apple implementing Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology on its entire lineup of flagship mobile devices that include the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3.

Over the years, Apple has been very active in promoting the improved security offered by their new fingerprint sensor, which allows users to lock and unlock their mobile devices.  

As of now, Apple has brought the Touch ID sensor to their current-generation iPhone 5 smartphone, and is planning to bring this technology to the upcoming iPhone 6. This technology has yet to be implemented in Apple's table lineup, even though the upcoming iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 is rumored to be receiving the new security feature.

There are signs that the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will be ready by late 2014, as reports have surfaced that one of the manufacturers responsible for producing Touch ID sensors had reportedly finished production on the first batch. News of this development first broke out over Cecb2b.com.

These signs are encouraging because they suggest that the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 will be in more abundant supply during launch. Previously, the iphone 5 was plagued by limited supply during its release last September. The iPhone 5 woes were later attributed to a shortage of Touch ID fingerprint components.

What Will the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Replace?

The so-called iPad Air 2 is believed to be the successor to the original iPad Air, which debuted last year. Apple rarely assigns numbers to its naming conventions, so the iPad Air 2 is officially known as the 'new iPad Air' on the Apple website. Only fans call the tablet 'iPad Air 2', to avoid confusion with the original iPad Air.

Apple's iPad Mini 3, will be replacing the so-called iPad Mini 2 -- officially known as the 'iPad Mini with Retina Display'.

Both the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 may be getting faster processors, though this has not always been the rule for every device made by Apple in the past. Keep in mind though, both tablets will definitely need beefier hardware in order to run newer software, which is rumored to be the iOS 8.The iOS 8 is Apple's latest mobile device software, and was unveiled to great acclaim this week at WWDC 2014.

The release date for the iOS 8 is believed to be this coming fall, and it is quite possible that Apple will at the same time release new hardware to capitalize on this upcoming launch. Those lineup of new devices may very well include the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2.   

Ultimately, Apple has final say on the timetable of mobile device launch dates. Until then, fans will need to hang tight for more updates that are sure to come in the following months.