Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updated: iPad 5 release date, news and rumors

Updated: iPad 5 release date, news and rumors

Though Apple fans were surprised by the announcement of the iPad 4 during Apple's October 2012 event, one expert soon predicted that the company would turn around and release a thinner, lighter iPad 5 in early 2013.

During the October 2012 event, Apple announced a host of new products, including an iPad mini along with the fourth generation full-sized iPad. But according to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, that might not be enough to fend off Microsoft's new Surface tablet.

Kuo wrote in a note to investors, reported by AppleInsider, that Apple may feel pressured to launch a 9.7-inch iPad 5 to cement its lead in the tablet business.

"Though the iPad mini is expected to be successful, we think launching the lighter, thinner 9.7-inch iPad as quickly as possible matters more for Apple strategically," Kuo wrote.

iPad 5 release date

On 19 November 2012, Digitimes reported that the iPad 5 release date would be "around the middle of 2013", and on 24 December 2012, an "inside source" talking to Japanese site Macotakara, pegged the iPad 5 release date as March 2013.

On 12 January 2012, the March release date was repeated by Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets. White cited industry insiders at the CES expo in Las Vegas, while also writing in a note to investors that Apple is moving to a bi-annual iPad refresh schedule.

However, on 25 January 2013, iLounge editor-in-chief Jeremy Horwitz, who claims to have seen the iPad 5, wrote that the fifth-gen iPad would not go on sale until October. Horwitz also said that the iPad mini 2 would be launched in the same month.

iPad 5 features

Considering the current iPad is the same weight, thickness and price point as its predecessor, it's very possible Apple is looking to produce a slimmed-down version.

Apple did give the iPad 4 a new A6X processor system-on-a-chip, which it claims to be twice as fast as the last iPad.

It also gained the new lightning connector and better LTE support. But that's all the new features iPad fans got with the fourth-gen tablet.

Kuo expects Apple to pack "GF DITO" (or GF2) touchscreen technology into the speculative iPad 5. GF2 is already used in the new iPad mini, which helps to make it 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than its bigger brother.

On 14 December, Macworld cited a report in Digitimes that claims that one way Apple will reduce the weight of the new iPad will be by using one LED light bar instead of the two that are found in the current iPad (and that were first introduced in the iPad 3). Macworld points out that th is would also mean that the iPad 5 would consume less power and could therefore run on a smaller, thinner battery.

Brian White, who reckons that there will now be a new iPad every six months, added that the iPad 5 would feature an improved A6X processor.

iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz claimed in January 2013 that the iPad 5 has virtually no left or right bezels in portrait mode, with just enough space above and below the display for the home button, sensors and front camera.

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