iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 Release Soon as Retailers Cut on Current Prices, Tablets to Sport Touch ID Fingerprint Sensors

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | May 14, 2014 10:09 PM EST

The much anticipated next generation Apple tablets, which could be named iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 might be released soon as retailers offer discounts and deals on the current models of iPads in the market.

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Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California Oct. 22, 2013.

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H.H. Gregg offered a price cut on iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display. It offers iPad Air 16 GB for $459.99 instead of the $499.99 original price and 32 GB and 64 GB variants also received discounts.

Best Buy also offered discounts on the Apple tablets with up to $100 off the price tag of the Wi-Fi-only iPad Mini Retina and iPad Air with a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.

The latest report claimed iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will both feature Touch ID fingerprint sensors. According to the Chinese Web site cecb2b.com, the Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has already produced the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.

Although the report lacked any release date clues, it indicated that Apple is prepping to show off its next generation iPad models soon.

According to projected product timelines, iPad Air and iPad Mini 3 will likely launch this fall. At this point, the monstrous 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the waterproof iPad Air are unlikely to be launched this year.

Some pieces of evidence showed the next generation iPad models will roll out with fingerprint sensors. According to the KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been quite accurate with her predictions in the past, both the updated iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini will come this year with the Touch ID features.

"We think the upgraded iPad Air will be launched earlier in 2014 than the iPad Air was in 2013. The biggest changes will be A8 processor, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition), and main camera resolution of 8MP. We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display."

Thus far, although Apple has not officially confirmed the Touch ID feature of the next-generation iPad models or even the existence of iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, signs are already clearly pointing to the Touch ID feature of the upcoming iPad models, along with the much anticipated Apple flagship smartphone, iPhone 6.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Robert Galbraith)
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California Oct. 22, 2013.
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