Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to focus on the iPad and Mac refreshes at this week’s event and possibly provide more details on the iOS 8 update that comes with Apple Pay. However, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts say they’re “on guard for potential surprises from Apple” this week.
So what can we expect in this year’s iPad Air 2? There have been plenty of supposed leaks, and the Cantor Fitzgerald team has put in their two cents as well.
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iPad Air 2 leak suggests A8X processor
One of the newest leaks was posted on the Taiwanese website Apple.club.tw and spotted by Tom’s Guide. There are some photos that the poster claims show the chipset and outer frame of the iPad Air 2. If the photos are legit, they supposedly show the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the A8X processor. The photos also show what appears to be a microSIM card reader.
In their report dated Oct. 13, 2014, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu said they expect Apple to follow a similar track with this year’s iPads as it did with the iPhone 6. They think Apple could add the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the gold color option this year, as neither feature made it into last year’s iPads. They think that both features would add some value if they make it into the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 2 with Retina display.
They also expect the iPad Air 2 will be a little thinner and a little lighter, although they note that last year’s iPad Air was already 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the previous iPad model. As a result, they think it will be difficult to see a huge leap forward this year.
The Cantor Fitzgerald team also addressed rumors about the 12.9-inch iPad, and they continue to expect Apple to introduce the tablet hybrid and target it at the enterprise market. They believe this week’s event would be a good opportunity for Apple to introduce the bigger tablet, but media reports have indicated that Apple might wait until next year.
Apple to send competitors running?
The Cantor Fitzgerald team noted that so far this year, the tablet market has been struggling. Sales of the iPad fell 8% year over year in the June quarter. They believe Apple is ahead of competitors, however, and they think competitors might actually start fleeing the tablet market in the next 12 to 18 months.
The analysts continue to rate Apple as a Buy with a $123 per share price target.