Apple has introduced "Touch ID," also known as the fingerprint scanner, on its iPhone 5S in September 2013.
According to early reports, iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display from previous year were supposed to house Touch ID feature, but Apple decided to keep this functionality specific to its iPhones.
As far as the functionality of Touch ID goes, along with unlocking iPhones, owners can use Touch ID to make purchases in iTunes Store without entering a passcode. But recent reports suggested Apple plans to include Touch ID fingerprint scanners on the upcoming iPads and iPhone 6.
Reason For the Delay
According to Gotta be mobile, the reason for the delay in introducing this interesting feature in iPads could be some issues that users encountered with Touch ID sensor and software during the early days of introduction. The Touch ID capability would let the users place a finger on the home button of iPhone and unlocks the phone immediately. Many iPhone 5S users started seeing problems, where the fingerprint scanner would fail to recognize a finger and unlock the phone.
Apple was quick to provide a fix in iOS 7.1 update in March 2014. Also, iOS 7.1.1 update came almost immediately after iOS 7 to fix many other issues related to scanning the fingerprint in depth.
After iOS 7.1.1 update, there were not many complaints regarding Touch ID. According to Cecb2b (via Gotta be mobile), Apple is working with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to bring Touch ID sensors to the new iPad Air and iPad Mini and iPhone 6 set for 2014.
Ming-Chi Kuo, security analyst from KGI, noted Touch ID is a possible feature of iPad devices. Sources suggested the upcoming iOS 8 will enable new Touch ID features and Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 set for June 2.
The upcoming iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 are likely to be launched in October (fall) and will go on sale starting November, Kuo claimed.
Also, a new Apple A8 processor with upgraded graphics and solid 8 MP camera can be expected on the new iPad Mini and iPad Air 2. If the predictions were correct, there would be a price reduction for iPad Mini Retina. But except for some reduction in the weight or the thickness of the tablet, there would be no major design changes in the upcoming iPad devices.