A new report suggests that Apple will not be releasing a new version of the iPad Air tablet this year. The report also claims that the latest version of the iPad mini will not include any significant upgrades from the prior version.
Apple has seen what some observers perceive as stumbling blocks lately. The botched launch of the highly anticipated Apple Watch and reported subsequent lack of consumer interest has been a glitch for a company that is used to hitting it out of the park every time.
Taylor Swift's attack on the company's payment policy for material offered during the three-month free trial of Apple Music's streaming service was a publicity nightmare, which the company quelled the best it could by capitulating almost immediately after the letter was published. The launch of Apple's much-touted live TV service has reportedly been delayed, as the company has not been able to hammer out the necessary contractual agreements with broadcast TV networks as of yet.
Now it appears as if the rising popularity of phablets has taken a toll on tablet demand, and that Apple has slowed down its tablet development and release schedule due to dwindling interest in the devices. Last year's introduction of Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus phablet has surely cannibalized at least some consumer interest in the tablet line.
If the rumor is true, the company will not be releasing a new version of the "regular-sized" iPad Air tablet this year, as it has done annually since the product was introduced. The next generation of the tablet is expected to be dubbed the iPad Air 3, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the iPad Air 2.
In addition, the latest iPad mini, the iPad mini 4 – which was expected to offer a significant upgrade in terms of specs – will reportedly only offer small improvements over the iPad mini 3, according to the report. The report did not mention the iPad Pro, the super-sized 12.9-inch tablet that the company has reportedly been developing.
While an October release schedule for Apple's new tablets have been the norm, some sources are reporting that this year, the iPad line will debut beside the company's latest smartphones – the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus – on September 9.