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The next iPad Air could have an in-screen fingerprint sensor

Apple has a busy year ahead as it gears up to launch a laundry list of products including over-ear headphones, numerous new flagship iPhones, and more. But that might not be all, as an anonymous Twitter account with a fairly reliable track record has claimed the company may also be developing the next-gen iPad Air, a gaming controller, and an ARM-based 12-inch MacBook.

Details are scant at the moment but the source says the next iPad Air will be equipped with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, Touch ID, instead of Face ID. As a result, there will be no notch or home button, which in turn will likely allow the tablet to have a nearly edge-to-edge screen.

A Bloomberg report back in September of last year first reported that Apple was exploring in-display fingerprint readers for its next set of iPhones. However, it didn’t comment on whether they’ll be available on iPads anytime soon. These fingerprint sensors, unlike the traditional ones, are present inside the screen and require the user to press the screen for authentication via light signals. They’ve grown increasingly common on Android phones and can even be found on a few midrange offerings.

The upcoming iPad Air will reportedly also feature Apple’s long-rumored mini-LED display tech which is said to offer far better contrast and range than what is available today. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a research note had earlier claimed that a 10.2-inch iPad with mini-LED is in the works.

What’s more, Apple may soon resurrect the 12-inch MacBook with an ARM-based chipset. This could be one of the ‘several’ Arm Macs Ming-Chi Kuo expects to arrive next year.

An Apple game controller is in the works, too, and it could launch either this year or 2021. The tipster has hinted that Apple is investing more than ever in its mobile gaming subscription, Arcade.

Other than that, the source has corroborated a range of earlier rumors including new AirPods (that could land as early as next month), AirTag, a Plus variant of the latest iPhone SE, HomePod Lite, and more.

However, these products are likely in the early stages of development and given the anonymous factor, it’s best to take these rumors with a pinch of salt. If they’re true, we should hear more about them in the coming weeks.

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Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
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