3 of 8Image
Industrial Design:More of the same
The iPad Air got a complete design overhaul, mimicking the appearance of the iPad mini by reducing the width of the bezel and dropping a lot of weight by simplifying components in the build.
Expect the next-generation iPad Air as well as the mini with Retina Display to look a lot like the current one, but next year we're likely to get the Touch ID sensor from the iPhone 5s.
Display: SHARP IGZO Retina
The iPad Air 2 is likely to have the exact (or nearly the same) display resolution as the iPad Air, the New iPad and iPad 3 that preceded it, at around 2560x1536 pixels.
However, the important changes in this display are going to occur in switching to a different display manufacturing process, referred to as Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, or IGZO, for short.
IGZO technology was developed by Japanese electronics giant SHARP along with Semiconductor Energy Laboratories. The zinc oxide replaces the silicon used in the amorphous layer in existing TFT displays and has a number of advantages, including a vast increase in electron mobility (over 40 times that of amorphous silicon) resulting in a higher reaction speed over previous technologies.
Moving to IGZO also would mean an even thinner sandwich for the LCD panel and also translating into less weight, as well as improved luminosity and increased power efficiency.
Why do we think Apple is going to IGZO? Because SHARP has announced that as of April of 2012, it would be producing 10" 2560x1600 and 7" 1280x800 IGZO panels in large quantities.
So it would seem iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display are both (eventually) getting an IGZO boost.
Cameras: Increased Megapixel front and rear iSight, with True Tone Flash
It goes without saying that Apple is likely to use a higher-megapixel CMOS in the rear and forward iSight cameras. It would not surprise me to see 8MP in the rear and 2MP in the front, particularly for newer augmented-reality apps as well as high-definition Facetime and possible facial gesture recognition and security enhancements to Siri and iOS 7.x.
Additionally, I expect some improvements in the lens elements to allow for improved image capture in lower-light scenarios, as well as improved image stabilization software and incorporation of the iPhone 5s's True Tone flash.