Updated models with AMD graphics options expected in early 2017.
New Images of iPad Air 2 Parts Show Touch ID Home Button Cable, Logic Board With A8X Chip, and More
The home button flex cable appears to contain a space for a Touch ID home button, complete with the stainless steel ring. Previous reports claimed that Apple's forthcoming iPads would receive Touch ID functionality, and these newest pictures likely confirm that the feature will at least be on the iPad Air 2.
Meanwhile, the logic board image also shows what may be Apple's A8 processor along with RAM chips and other components. Currently, it is unknown as to whether the A8 chip on the iPad Air 2 will be clocked at a higher speed than the A8 chips found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The logic board also appears to contain a noticeably different layout when compared to the board from last year's iPad Air. For instance, the SIM slot appears to be directly on iPad Air 2's logic board, while the component was located in a separate compartment for the iPad Air.
The front panel of the iPad Air 2 contains a more prolonged connector on its side and contains cutouts for the Touch ID home button and FaceTime HD camera. While the panel doesn't appear to be notably different when compared to the front panel for the iPad Air, some reports have claimed that the iPad Air will have an integrated display to make way for a thinner profile. Lastly, the volume control flex cable shows the up and down volume buttons and what may be a microphone. With this layout, it is possible that Apple may be getting rid of the mute/screen rotation switch to further reduce the tablet's overall thickness.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 alongside the next-generation Retina iPad mini at a media event in Cupertino, California next Thursday, October 16. Other reports have also claimed that the company will announce updated Mac Minis and updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display.
Update 5:26 AM: As shown by forum user primordian, enhancing the contrast on the main chip reveals it to be labeled as an A8X. Apple has traditionally used "X" versions of its main chips with enhanced graphics for its iPads, but the company abandoned that strategy with the first-generation iPad Air, opting to use a regular A7 chip with the only difference being that it was clocked slightly faster than the version found in the iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini.