Apple preps iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, but what size?

Apple is preparing to launch its new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 tablets, having just rolled its new iPhones out the door. With the release date of the new iPads approaching, would-be buyers are left to wonder just what Apple has up its sleeve. Now that the company has fully immersed itself into a world of multiple-sized iPads and larger iPhone models, are we about to see a revolution in iPad thinking when the new models make their debut?

The original iPad Air was a radical redesign last fall, and with Apple’s pattern of major revisions every other year, the iPad Air 2 can safely be expected to look a lot like last year’s model – or can it? Tablet sales have hit a ceiling over the past year, forcing Apple and its competitors to rethink their strategies. Will we see an iPad Air 2 whose styling is more akin to that of the iPhone 6? Or perhaps those longstanding but chuckle-worthy rumors of a twelve or thirteen inch iPad variant are true after all. Here comes the iPad Plus, maybe.

The iPad mini 3 is a more intriguing product, if only because the last two iPad mini generations have looked so similar to each other. Now it’s time for Apple’s elves to deliver a full redesign, but little if anything has leaked out in that regard. Is Apple still married to the 7.9 inch form factor, or will the new mini also come in something closer to seven inches, like its competitors? And what to make of the fact that the iPod touch was left out of the mix this month? Is it about to become the iPad Micro or some other such name change? With so much up in the air regarding the new iPads, the only thing that seems certain based on precedent its their release date.

Apple’s longtime pattern has placed the iPhone launch in September or October of each year, with the iPad launch coming about three to five weeks later. That means the iPad event can be counted on for early to mid October, with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date taking place in the second half of the month.