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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.
System on a Chip: A8
The A7's 64-bit architecture as introduced with the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air was a real shocker, and it leads us to beleive that Apple is heading down a path of platform convergence with their computing products.
However, with Apple facing a lot of competition now from Samsung's home-grown high-performance Exynos 5 processor used in the Nexus 10 and the Galaxy S 4 smartphone, we're likely to even more disruptive improvements in Apple's own silicon with the introduction of the A8.
While the use of a Quad-core SoC design in the iPad Air 2 is likely, we may very well see the A8 conceived as a "hybridized" chip using custom silicon, which might utilize a combination of two higher-clocked 64-bit cores and two or more smaller, lower-power and slower 64-bit cores, so that applications will run on a "cluster" of cores best suited to their workload, thus making the SoC more energy-efficient.
This hybrid core technology, known as big.LITTLE and licensed by ARM Holdings, could very well make it's way into the A8 in the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6. Samsung has already announced its own big.LITTLE chip in the form of the Exynos Octa which is used in some international carrier (GSM) versions of the Galaxy S 4.
It also goes without saying that we are also likely to see a 2x or more boost in GPU processor power over the A7, increasingly moving the needle closer to the capabilities of their PC and console counterparts and enabling the most demanding games on tablet hardware. An 8-core GPU design using PowerVR Series 6 technology is not out of the question.