Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last year or going about your daily business wearing ear plugs and an eye mask, you’ll be well aware that Apple is gearing up to launch the latest iteration of its iPhone in the coming months. So much attention has been given to the Cupertino company’s forthcoming handset that it’s been easy to forget about a couple more of its products due for a refresh – the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2.
According to a Bloomberg report Monday, Apple recently fired up the production line for its new tablets, which are being assembled at its manufacturing facilities in Asia.
The refreshed 9.7-inch iPad Air is already rolling off the conveyor belts, according to people with knowledge of the matter, and could be unveiled at the end of September or soon after. The first Air was unveiled to great fanfare on October 22 last year before hitting stores on November 1.
Supply of Apple’s larger slate may initially be constrained due to manufacturing challenges linked to a new anti-reflective coating rumored to be incorporated into the Air’s display.
A revamped 7.9-inch iPad Mini 2 is also entering production and should launch “by the end of the year,” Bloomberg’s sources said. The latest model started selling on November 12 last year.
Few Apple watchers are expecting drastic changes with the updated tablets, save for the usual spec bump. However, the Touch ID sensor, introduced last year with the launch of the iPhone 5S, could debut on the devices.
The company will be hoping new versions of its tablets will help boost interest in a product for which sales have slowed in the US and Europe over the last year. In developing markets such as China, however, sales of its slates continue to grow at a steady rate.