According to KGI’s Ming Chi Kuo, iPad Air 3 will be released in the first half of 2017 and will not adopt 3D touch technology. The reason is related to the production level issue.
“iPad Air 3 in 1H16F unlikely to feature 3D Touch. 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.”
Apple will hold their annual event in March. It can be a perfect time to announce iPad Air 3. According to the rumors, Apple will announce the other 2 important devices on that event: Apple Watch 2 and the new iPhone 4-inch.
Moreover, KGI also talked about the iPhone 7, which will use the same 3D touch technology as well as iPhone 6s, but it seems that this iPhone 7 will be announced on the other event in September.
“iPhone 7 in 2017F 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.”
iPad Air 2 was released for the first time in 2014 and the upgrade didn’t come in 2015. If Apple will not implement the 3D Touch on iPad Air 3, they should introduce the key technology of this device, which is different from its prior.
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