According to Ming-Chi Kuo, KGI Securities analyst, Apple will launch its iPad 3 in the first half of 2016. It is believed that Apple will organise a launch event in March to unveil its Apple Watch 2 and perhaps the much rumoured iPhone 6C. Along with these, there’s a probability that the 9.7 inches iPad Air 3 will be revealed during this event.
The third generation of the iPad Air, however, will supposedly not support the 3D touch feature that is seen in the iPhone 6s/Plus.
Kuo said, “iPad Air 3 will opt not to feature 3D Touch because of production issues. While we think the 3D Touch supply chain produced more to avoid shortages in the early stages, slower end-product demand and improved back-end assembly yield have resulted in the current high inventory. As 1Q16 demand looks to slow on seasonality and competition from other brands’ new models, we believe 3D Touch supply chain capacity utilisation is currently lower than the peak level of 30%, and that will last through 1Q16”.
Kuo also hinted that due to this production issue, Apple will probably use the same 3D touch technology they used in iPhone 6S in iPhone 7. He said, “iPhone 7 in 2016F to use 3D Touch solution of similar technology & structure as iPhone 6s.3D Touch to improve the user experience of touch panel long term, but won’t contribute much to near-term shipments. We think only more apps supporting 3D Touch and continued improvement of 3D Touch UI design will support increased use of 3D Touch. 3D Touch one of the most severe production bottlenecks in iPhone 6s supply chain; current inventory higher than other general components.”