Apple is expected to refresh its iPad lineup this fall, but its next-generation tablets may not arrive together. According to supply chain sources in Taiwan, the fifth-generation iPad will enter production as early as next month in time for a launch during the third quarter, but we might have to wait longer for a new iPad mini.
The rumor comes from sources for DigiTimes, so it’s best we don’t read too much into it for now. But here’s what they have to say:
Volume production of a new-generation 9.7-inch iPad will begin in July-August with shipments in the third quarter estimated at five million units. Meanwhile, a second-generation iPad mini may see its volume production postponed from September to November, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
The sources also claim that the new iPad will adopt a “thin-film-type touch panel solution to reduce its weight by 20-30%,” as well as a slim bezel design to increase the display area.
We’re not quite sure what they mean by the latter, because Apple’s not going to increase the size of the display. Instead it’s expected to make the iPad’s bezels narrower simply to make the device a little smaller than its predecessor.
We’re expecting the new iPad to look almost identical to the iPad mini, only bigger.
As for the new iPad mini, it’s unclear when that will launch if indeed its production has been delayed. Again, we’re not going to read too much into this because of where it comes from, but either way, we can’t imagine the new iPad mini won’t come before the holiday season.
DigiTimes reports that the device has been postponed to prevent the new iPad mini from damaging sales of the new iPad, but those who want the smaller device are unlikely to change their mind due to a delay — they’ll just wait longer for it.