While Apple might be busy in making the last-minute preparations for its October 30 event, noted supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now predicted some of the developments that aren't likely to be a part of the forthcoming event but are related to amongst the anticipated offerings by the Cupertino giant. Kuo, who works at TF International Securities, expects that the company will bring its new iPad mini tablet that will be the successor to the fourth-generation iPad mini at its next Spring event. The analyst also estimates that the much awaited AirPower multi-device wireless charger, which was originally slated to debut in March, could arrive sometime later this year or early next year.
Kuo, as reported by 9to5Mac, expects the fifth-generation iPad mini will come with "an upgraded processor" and an affordable display panel, and be launched at Apple's next Spring event. The company brought the fourth-generation iPad mini aka iPad mini 4 back in September 2014 with a 7.9-inch 2048x1536 pixels display and the second-generation A8 SoC. Importantly, the existing iPad mini isn't supporting accessories such as Apple Pencil due to the dated hardware. Features such as True Tone colour temperature adjustment are also not available on the current model.
While Kuo hasn't predicted the iPad mini 5 price, it should be significantly cheaper than the new iPad Pro models that are expected to debut at Apple's event next week. It is also likely that because of the lower price, the new model couldn't have a TrueDepth Camera system to enable Face ID that is likely to debut on the upcoming iPad models.
Apart from predicting the launch of the new iPad mini model, Kuo reportedly said that Apple could launch the AirPower later this year or early next year. The analyst is said to have flagged "late 4Q18 or early 1Q19" as likely for "new AirPods and AirPower" in his fresh research note. The company notably unveiled AirPower as its in-house wireless charging mat to charge a supported iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously back in September 2017. However, since its formal announcement, charging mat has so far been a mystery as the company has neither reveal the price nor its availability. Some reports claim the company's delayed launch is due to issues it faced in development, including overheating and interference issues.
Some previous reports suggested that alongside AirPower, new AirPods are in the pipeline - something Kuo corroborates. As per the earlier report, the new AirPods will ship with with hands-free Siri access and a water-resistant design. Apple could also bring an optional wireless charging case for the AirPods to make them compatible with the AirPower charging mat.
It is presumable that the rumour mill could reveal more about the new iPad mini and AirPower in the coming future. Meanwhile, Apple is supposed to expand its presence in the computing market by launching new Mac and iPad Pro models at its October 30 event that is taking place in the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House in New York.
Alongside the predictions of the future models, Kuo has reported forecast what Apple is bringing at its forthcoming event. The analyst believes that there could be at least three new Mac machines, including a "low-price" MacBook as well as an updated Mac mini and iMac as well as two new iPad Pro models with USB Type-C and better display panels than the previous models. He also notes a "new-design" Apple Pencil to match the updated iPad Pro lineup.