Alleged iPad Air 2 images leak online

Photos of an alleged iPad Air 2 prototype show the tablet sporting a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, says 9to5Mac.

Apple's iPad Air.
Apple's original iPad Air may be followed up by an even thinner model. Josh Miller/CNET

Apple's next iPad Air will be thinner than its predecessor and offer the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, at least based on details and photos leaked by a Vietnamese blog site.

As described by 9to5Mac, website Tinhte.vn claims the new iPad will be as thin as 7 millimeters (about a quarter of an inch). Apple's new iPhone 6 is 6.9 millimeters thick, while the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1 millimeters. In contrast, the original iPad Air is slightly beefier than the rest of the pack at 7.9 millimeters, or .29 inches thick.

The home button shown and described in one of the images displays the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Previous reports have said that Apple would add the Touch ID sensor to this year's iPad Air after introducing it last year in the iPhone 5S. The sensor looks to be glass, according to 9to5Mac, which means it could adopt the same sapphire glass used in the iPhone.

The speaker grille has also been slightly redesigned, as spotted by AppleInsider. The new grille displays a single row of holes rather than the double row built into the first iPad Air.

The mute/rotation lock switch is missing in the photos, but Tinhte.vn points out a new hole above the volume control buttons, which it speculates could be a microphone. The rotation lock on the iPad certainly comes in handy when you need to control the rotation, so it's unlikely that Apple has actually gotten rid of this feature in the new iPad.

Instead, the images, assuming they're even legit, are quite possibly of a dummy or prototype unit. As 9to5Mac points out, the back side looks a bit rough and unfinished, which implies that this is not a finished or completed consumer model.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some of the information, such as the Touch ID sensor and new speaker grille, do match up with previous reports about the iPad Air 2. But for now, it may be safest to file the comments and images from Tinhte.vn in the rumor department.

Apple is holding an event on October 16 where it's expected to announce new iPads and Macs.

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