Apple rumoured to launch ‘large’ 12.2” iPad Air Plus and iPad Mini 4 in 2015
Apple rumoured to launch a large 12.2in iPad Air Plus and iPad Mini 4 in 2015Apple

Technology giant Apple, having recently launched its flagship smartphones the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, is now rumoured to be working on a new iPad Air iteration.

According to Japanese online publication Macotakara, which bases its news on a report from the Japanese MacFan magazine, the next iPad Air will be called the Apple iPad Air Plus, and this device is expected to have a 12.2in screen thus making it a rather large tablet. MacFan claims to have a leaked blueprint of the rumoured tablet.

The 12.2in iPad Air Plus could be launched in the first half of 2015, with the first set of tablets shipping between April-June 2015.

There is speculation that the Apple iPad Air Plus tablet could well incorporate Apple's latest A9 processors. The Japanese publication adds that the device will feature four built-in speakers, placed at the corners of the short sides of the tablet, and it will be able to correctly orient stereo when it is rotated.

Along with the new iPad Air Plus, Apple is rumoured to be planning a launch of the iPad Mini 4, driven by its A8X processor family, in 2015.

Technical specifications of the iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 has not been on the market for long, and so it will be interesting to see Apple launch another tablet device powered by a new iteration of its A-series of processors.

Apple's iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the original iPad Air, at only 6.1mm in depth. It runs Apple's latest generation processor, the A8X, a tablet version of the A8 chip that features in both the new models of the iPhone 6. Apple states the A8 has 40% more CPU performance and 2.5X more graphics performance over the previous A7 chip.

Could Apple make any further improvements on these aspects with an Air Plus running the A9 chipset?

The iPad Air 2 included the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on its home button for the first time in an Apple tablet, and this will no doubt be incorporated into an Air Plus.

The Air 2 also boasts an improved camera with an 8MP iSight camera and 1080p video capabilities. The iSight camera can take panoramic photos, as well as slow-motion and timelapse videos. The new FaceTime camera also features several upgrades, including burst selfies and HDR. These features will likely make their way into the rumoured Air Plus.

There is of course no pricing for the rumoured Air Plus, but it is interesting to note the Air 2 pricing as a starting point.

The iPad Air 2 16GB Wi-Fi model is priced at £399 ($625). While other models have been priced at £479, for the 64GB model and £559 for the 128GB model with Wi-Fi.

iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi and cellular models will be available for a retail price of £499 for the 16GB model, £579 for the 64GB model and £659 for the 128GB model.