iPad 2015 iPad may be last annual release

Discussion in 'iPad' started by macguy360, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. macguy360 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2011
    So far, Apple has been able to release iPad updates every year. They have also been able to show some serious improvements in speeds year over year. Unfortunately, they are hitting a wall in terms of processor upgrades.

    Here are the history of iPads and their build process
    iPad - A4 - 45nm
    iPad 2- A5 - 45nm
    iPad 3- A5x - 45nm with more cores
    iPad 4(retina)- A6x - 32nm with more cores than A6.
    iPad 5(air)- A7- 28nm
    iPad 6(air 2)- A8x- 20nm
    iPad 7 (air 3)- A9- 14nm process

    As you can see, the Air 3 will have the A9 processor which Apple is currently ahead of schedule on. In comparison, Intel is also working on releasing their 14nm processors in early 2015 though some may be available in 2014. Intel, which is the leading processor company in the world has only been able to decrease nm build every few years.

    Apple will be stuck at the 14nm process for a while. I don't believe Intel is prepared to release 8nm processors until sometime around 2020. There is a chance that Apple could build an A9x in 2016 as a follow up to the A9. But at this point it will be getting diminishing returns. We will also see less significant bumps in speed after reaching the 14nm process until reaching an 8nm process.

    In my opinion, the iPad Air 2 and Air 3 will be very long longevity devices. I bet you will be able to use the Air 2 and Air 3 for at least 6 years each due the increased ram and speed capabilities.
  2. TheDeviceUser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2014
    Apple will go on creating better, faster chips which offer greater power efficiency. If they hit the wall with the iPad, they'd hit it with the iPhone as well.

    Apple will release annual iPad/iPhone updates for a long time to come.
  3. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Definitely, the processor won't be doubling its speed any more like the past few years. The same thing happened with PC CPUs and that led to similar trend of less frequent upgrades.

    I plan on keeping my Air 2 for at least several years. With 2GB RAM, I think, it's definitely possible unless Apple come up with iOS 10 with a drastic change. :apple:
  4. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    Yeah, process shrinks are nice, but you can still have improvements in chip design with a single process. No reason to think annual updates will stop because process shrinks are slowing.
  5. TheDeviceUser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2014
    I agree we won't see 2X increases. That's already begun with 25%-50% increases with the standard A8.
  6. Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2010
    Really no guarantee that you'll see 14nm next year. Intel is having a heck of a time implementing it and they're the market leader. Also Apple could implement a tick/tock strategy like Intel does. One cycle is dedicated to overhauling the processor design and the next cycle is used to implement the next die shrink.
  7. TheDeviceUser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2014
    Wouldn't be surprised if they use something similar to the AX branding for a tick tock cycle.


    A9 (Tick)
    A9X (Tock)
    A10 (Tick)
    A10X (Tock)

    Obviously they wouldn't use the AX branding, Maybe just a +? A9+?
  8. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    I'm sorry to tell you this but Apple is not an IT manufacturer, they are an experience/device/marketing company and then an IT manufacturer if that fits the picture.

    They can bring as many annual releases as they want, there will always be something to update. If not the processor then it's something else.

    Look at the mini 3. same processor new release.
  9. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Last annual release? Maybe not if Apple can find a way better energy efficiency for 8 core Cortex cpu? :apple:
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    They'll just add 3GB of RAM and release a new model.
  11. gadget123 macrumors 68010

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Interesting point however surely the ipad line has a better future than ipod/MP3 market which is quiet?

    Andoird would just catch up very fast if Apple don't keep up.

    I expect retina hd, A9/A10 for future iPads, Ipad pro, even better cameras, improved software.

    It is however possible iPad Air 2 won't get a major update in 2015 if any to allow the Pro ipad to be the main product. The air could get less updates like mini. I hope this doesn't happen though.
  12. yukyuklee macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Why even worry about Android catching up lol...
    Marketing 101 they will just keep doing small updates to take our money. Like the other guy that said 3gb memory, little thinner, touch ID, next will be a better camera etc etc... they will stretch it out as long as they can and have preset dates for everything that comes out. I wouldn't be too worried at this point by the time they hit a wall we will be dead by than
  13. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Yeah just because the process doesn't shrink doesn't mean there can't be significant upgrades. Maybe not like 2.5x upgrades, but upgrades nonetheless.

    I think Apple will continue to update its high volume product lines yearly, both to remain competitive and to continue to encourage upgrades.
  14. gadget123 macrumors 68010

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Apple probably has other ideas up there sleeve like Touch ID and Siri which were never leaked. The ipad is a computer so there is plenty they could do to innovate it further flexible displays, curved glass, better retina, super hd, 4k video.

    Hopefully the updates keep coming.


    All be it nobody upgrades yearly but as soon as the ipad 2 doesn't get ios9 I expect loads of people to upgrade.
  15. dkl macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2012
    No wonder the iPad Air 2 didn't come with NFC. Apple must be saving it for later!
  16. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I upgrade my iPad yearly, so there's at least one person that does ;)

    But even if it's not yearly, think of all the people going from an iPad 2-4 that are upgrading to the Air 2 this year, but wouldn't be upgrading if Apple didn't update the Air line.

    Now that the iPad has been out for a few years, there will be people every year who are upgrading from the iPad they got 2-3 years ago. So yearly updates are still good to march that trend forward.
  17. yukyuklee macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2011
    Boston, MA

    They probably have the next product line ups for the next 10yrs
  18. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Not sure what the processor has to do with yearly updates. It's getting to the point where you don't really need it to get much faster for anything other than pro-level apps. I welcome such capabilities, but for most people the power isn't necessary.

    For one thing, they could work on making everything more efficient. In doing so they could add more cores on the same process to make things faster, and make sure their software maximizes the benefit of using many cores.

    Furthermore, they can always add new hardware features. For instance next year they will probably add Retina HD (@3X), a faster GPU (to handle that new display), and true tone flash. The year after that they could possibly put in whatever advanced camera the (then) old iPhone 6S has, upgrade the FaceTime camera, maybe give it a sapphire laminated display or construct it out of that new liquid metal material they've been playing around with for years which could potentially make it even lighter. Perhaps they could make the capacities 32GB/128GB/256GB. You can also increase the speed of the storage so that everything is more responsive, or maybe even enable caching to disk so that apps resume state quicker if they get kicked out of the RAM. They could also add pressure sensitivity which would enable a new generation of gesture capabilities, as well as native advanced drawing capabilities for artists. This could potentially mean they could remove the home button and have the device just be all screen with minimal bezel. They could also implement new power-saving features such as the patent they have for a solar panel embedded into the display. Further down the road they could make bendable displays that fold up so that you can carry your iPad in your pocket.

    They can also innovate with those patents they have on advanced smart covers with external notification screens, keyboards and everything else. Then there's also the possibility of wireless charging finally going mainstream. So they can even innovate with accessories that only work with newer devices.

    Oh and don't forget new wireless standards. potential Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ax (yeah, that's a thing that should get draft status sometime around 2016), and whatever 5G cellular internet solution that is being cooked up (I've read about speeds in the multiple Gigabit range), and then there's also the potential for new technology like pCell which is inherently better than the cellular network as we know it today.

    The thing is, there is tons of room for innovation and new hardware features. I just thought of all of these off the top of my head and I'm just one designer. Apple has many teams of designers who are much brighter than I am, and honestly I only thought of the fairly obvious ones. And you can do almost all of these things without a faster processor.
  19. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Ridiculous. Apple will always have some new feature to refresh. It does this w/ Macs (See: Retina iMac w/ "old" Haswell chip). No reason to believe its going to let its #2 product line wither on the vine of staleness.
  20. MarcoCapa macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Broadwell is subitable for fabless design... Food for mind....
    There are already studies about other materials for reducing the die size... Abandoning silicon it is possible in the order of 5 nm....
    Then we have ddr4 ram and also 3D stocking flash storage with greater capacities without adding bulk....
    Liquidmetal like it was said permit to reduce the thickness of the devices and make it lighter...
    Amoled display is another thing
  21. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    apple has been very successful with the yearly releases. helps them stay on the news for a long time. they won't give that up easily.

    samsung starts 14nm at the end of this year/early next year, so i dont see a problem for 2015, especially since globalfoundries partnered up with them and will also start production a few months later.

    TSMC has 10nm on the roadmap for 2016, but noone believes they can make it. but they might be in time for 2017.

    but even if apple has to stay on 14nm technology a year longer, they can improve other things. like add more cores or something.

    and intel is supposed to release 10nm in 2016 too, but might also slip to 2017.

    but at this rate, intel has to step up its game if they don't want to fall behind.
  22. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    I don't see iPad getting any thinner. Only way they can make it lighter is by making it out of a different material and reducing the battery size as processors continue to become more efficient. I also see them trimming down the top and bottom bezels in the future.
  23. gadget123 macrumors 68010

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom

    I think these posts are people who make hate yearly upgrades and they hope Apple will slow things down.

    If that happened IPad sales would definitely slow up.

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