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iPad Air 2020 could get a huge Touch ID upgrade

Apple iPad Air
(Image credit: Future)

Apple could release a new iPad Air with an under-display fingerprint reader, in addition to a slew of new gadgets, by the end of the year.

That’s according to a relatively reliable tech leaker going by the name @L0vetodream (via MacRumors), who detailed a slew of upcoming Apple products. Those include the aforementioned devices, the so-called AirPods X headphones and four iPhone 12 models, including an “iPhone 12 Lite.”

Let’s start with the new iPad Air. The anonymous Twitter user noted it will use a mini LED display that takes up the tablet’s entire front with no notch to house a Face ID camera or Touch ID-enabled home button. 

Rather, Touch ID will be facilitated by an under-display fingerprint scanner, meaning the next iPad Air could look a little like the iPad Pro 2020 only without a camera in the side bezels for Face ID. This is the same type of fingerprint reader that's occasionally been rumored to hit the iPhone 12.

Given that the iPad Air and other non ‘Pro’ iPads have used a relatively dated design with a home button and chunky bezels, they're due for a proper redesign. And an iPad with reduced bezels would make for a good tablet to game upon. 

Speaking of which, @L0vetodream said Apple is developing its own game controller. The Twitter user didn't mention whether this controller would be for a specific platform such as Mac, iOS or Apple TV, or whether it would come with any upcoming Apple products.

The 12-inch MacBook is another interesting product flagged by the leaker, as Apple killed-off the original 12-inch machine last year. But if Apple were to make a MacBook with ARM-based chips — which its iPhones and every Android phone use — Cupertino’s engineers could come up with lightweight energy-efficient 12-inch MacBook designed to run for hours upon hours.

We could envision such a MacBook being a macOS take on a Chromebook or some of the Always Connected low-powered Windows 10 machines which use ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. 

Other products mentioned by @L0vertodream include the iPad Pro 2020, which is already out, and the iPhone 9, which is actually the iPhone SE 2020.

The leaker also mentions that Apple is working on a HomePod Lite, which we guess will be a cut-down version of the original HomePod, and a Mac mini, which we’d expect to be a simple specs refresh. This is in addition to the AirPods 3 and AirPods X, which we expect to be a follow-up to the AirPods 2 and a budget version of Apple’s headphones respectively.

Finally, the leaker also mentioned that refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 and iMac 2020 are expected. We expect the former to follow in the footsteps of Apple's latest MacBooks and adopt the Magic Keyboard found on the new MacBook Air and 16-inch MacBook Pro.