Could the iPad Air 3 Still Happen? KGI Thinks So.

Fresh off the press is another report made by KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who’s usually pretty accurate with the upcomings of Apple, and this time, it’s about the iPad Air 3. And this is kind of a shock, because last year, Apple’s wasn’t even planning a third iPad Air, but now, apparently, they were and still are.

Kuo says that the new 9.7 inch tablet by Cupertino will be released within the first half of 2016, perhaps at Apple’s upcoming March event where the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 6c are rumored to make their debut. However, there is some bad news: Kuo says that the Air 3 will most likely ship without 3D Touch, one of the iPhone 6s/Plus’ best features, due to “production issues”.

We forecast that 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 utilization is currently lower than peak level of 30%, and that will last through 1Q16.

He doesn’t really go into the specs of the tablet or what it will look like, but we can begin to assume that the new product could feature an even thinner design when compared to the Air 2 alongside possibly the same A9X processor found in the iPad Pro.

In the new report, Kuo even touched upon the iPhone 7 a little bit, saying that the upcoming smartphone will unsurprisingly use the same 3D Touch technology as the iPhone 6s.

iPhone 7 in 2016F to use 3D Touch solution of similar technology & structure as iPhone 6s;

3D Touch to improve 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.

This isn’t really a shock to anyone who follows Apple as I do, since Apple doesn’t really like to make big enhancements to the latest innovative features they introduce in their products until the feature is like two years old. But who knows – maybe Apple will surprise us with some kind of Multi-3D Touch feature in the iPhone 7.