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13 expectations for Apple's new iPads

Posted: 16 Oct 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPad  tablet  iPhone 6  Apple Watch  A8X 

Apple is set to release new iPads this week, possibly even its long-rumoured "iPad Pro." Expectations are high for the improvements on these devices. However, with declining tablet sales worldwide, will these upgrades be enough to justify a purchase and generate revenue for the tech giant? What should consumers be excited about these new products?

Here are 13 iPad features and products we expect Apple to announce soon.

A more powerful processor

Over the last few weeks, a series of purported images of new iPad components have leaked online. They indicate at least one upcoming iPad will feature an A8X processor—a beefed-up variant of the A8 chips Apple introduced with its recent iPhones.

"X" versions have typically boasted significantly better graphics performance and slightly higher clock speeds than Apple's mainstream chips. Apple has generally used "X" chips in iPads, though last year the company skipped the A7X, opting instead to use slightly different versions of its A7 processor in both the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air.

Apple is expected to debut the A8X in at least iPad Air 2. It's not clear if other models will also use the new chip. Some rumours claim Apple will release a new iPad Mini with a regular A8 chip like that in the iPhone 6, whereas other rumours claim Apple might not release a new Mini until sometime in 2015.

Regardless of which models receive the new chips, what does Apple plan to do with the extra power?

A more power processor

(Source: MacRumors)

Twice the RAM

Reports have maintained for months that the next-gen iPad Air will include 2GB of RAM—the most ever in an iOS device. Leaked images and recent supply chain reports have reiterated that Apple plans to boost iPad memory. The new iPad Air will reportedly rely on the extra RAM for new features such as split-screen multi-tasking and to accommodate a nicer, more pixel-rich display. If Apple refreshes both the iPad Air and iPad Mini, only the former is likely to include 2GB of RAM.

Twice the RAM

Retina HD displays

With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple introduced its "Retina HD" concept—a class of screens with even more densely packed pixels than normal Retina displays have. Rumours indicate Apple could give the iPad Air 2 a similar treatment, filling its 9.7-inch screen with even more resolution than the current model's 2048 x 1536px display offers. If that's the case, the next-gen Air will need its A8X chip and extra RAM to push around all the extra pixels.

As with other rumoured iPad improvements, it's unclear if better screens are destined for all iPad models, or just the new Air. New iPad screens are also expected to include better anti-reflective technology, which should make them easier to read outdoors in bright sunlight.

Retina HD displays

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