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Rumor: iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, 12.9-inch iPad Coming

The well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo released his predictions and research notes for Apple’s 2014 product roadmap today and, according to sources for Kuo, Apple will introduce new iPad Air and iPad mini models later this year. Kuo also says that prices for the current lineup of tablets will drop over the course of the year while Apple pushes a larger 12.9-inch tablet in 2015.

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Here’s an overview of the stack of predictions Kuo cited in his report, according to MacRumors.

iPad Air 2

A so-called iPad Air 2 will reportedly launch a bit earlier this year — likely late in the third quarter instead of early in the fourth — and include a next-generation A8 mobile processor manufactured for Apple by TSMC, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an 8MP rear-facing camera.

Kuo believes the Air 2 will launch earlier this year than last year’s launch of the first-gen Air, premiered in November. Forecast to arrive in Q3 (third quarter).

iPad Mini 3

The iPad Mini Retina (iPad mini 3) will be slimmed down a bit, to the same size and weight as the original iPad Mini. This year’s iPad mini with Retina display will maintain the same form factor as the current model but initially ship in limited volumes, while the previous year’s model may continue to be manufactured and sold at a reduced cost.

12.9-inch iPad

Apple is reportedly working on a 12.9″ iPad to generate new growth momentum via a richer entertainment and productivity experience. However, the analyst said the product is unlikely to make its way to market until next year, as Apple is believed to working on new usability features to accompany the release. Separately, Asia-based reports and analysts have speculated that the so-called “iPad Pro” could be a hybrid of sorts that includes an Apple-designed keyboard. Forecast to arrive in Q1 2015.

When it comes to numbers, Kuo predicts that Apple will deliver a “flattish” year-over-year growth, with sales totaling bout 73.5 million units. What do you think of these rumors? Is a 12.9-inch iPad Pro something you would want? Is having Touch ID on an iPad important to you?