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The 'iPad Air 3' won't have 3D Touch, analyst predicts

The 'iPad Air 3' won't have 3D Touch, analyst predicts

December 15, 2015

If you’re wishing for an “iPad 3” in the spring of 2016 with 3D Touch capabilities, those hopes might be dashed. According to an investor’s note provided to AppleInsider, noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the next generation of the tablet will lack the 3D Touch features for “practical reasons.”

A bottlenecked supply chain

Kuo called 3D Touch “one of the most severe production bottlenecks in iPhone 6s supply chain.” He believes the supply chain for the components required for that feature are currently below 30 percent utilization, and would not be able to meet the demand of a refreshed iPad Air.

We are still getting a new iPad Air, though, right?

According to Kuo, Cupertino is still planning to refresh the 9.7-inch iPad offering in spring 2016. Kuo wrote that the introduction of the iPad Air 3 could come as early as March. There was no mention of a refreshed Apple Watch in Kuo’s note, though.

Speaking of Apple products, what about the ‘iPhone 7?’

Kuo also addressed rumors about the so-called “iPhone 7.” He believes Cupertino will continue its traditional fall rollout schedule for the next-generation handset, meaning a September announcement. Kuo expects the iPhone 7 to maintain the same technical architecture introduced in the iPhone 6s, so 3D Touch will still be in the next handset.


Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most well-connected analysts in the Apple ecosystem. He correctly predicted all of Cupertino’s product announcements for fall 2015, so his notes are considered to be very accurate forecasts of what Apple has planned. At least in the case of the iPad 3, I hope that Apple proves him wrong for a change and does incorporate 3D Touch into the refreshed tablet.

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