Apple’s iPad Air might not be getting any thinner, but it could enjoy some useful tweaks when its sequel hits this fall. Images posted to Chinese social media site Weibo and published on Macotakara show the back panel of the purported iPad Air 2, which could arrive with some subtle but important design changes.
While it looks unchanged from the original iPad Air at first glance, the leaked panel sports redesigned speakers with larger holes and a rear microphone that’s closer to the rear-facing camera. The former design change could mean louder and crisper audio, and the latter tweak could make communication clearer during Skype chats.
Based on previous leaks, the next iPad Air is expected to boast Apple’s A8 processor (like the iPhone 6 is rumored to), a sharper 8-MP camera and a Touch ID fingerprint reader. If the next iPad Air arrives during its rumored fall release window (which would mark a year after the original), it will likely come preloaded with Apple’s upcoming iOS 8 software.
A new iPad Air isn’t the only slate Apple may have up its sleeve. Rumors have been circulating for months about a potential iPad Pro, which would sport a huge 12.9-inch UHD display, the aforementioned A8 processor and a potential blend of iOS 8 and OS X features.
There’s still no word of official specs or a release date for the iPad Air 2, but one report recently said that Oct. 14 will be an “immense” day for the hardware giant, with multiple devices purportedly in the pipeline. Could the next iPad be coming then? Stay tuned.