Apple is gearing up to launch its fifth-generation iPad this September, according to sources in its supply chain. The device is expected to offer a new form factor much like the iPad mini’s, as well as some backlighting modifications and better battery life.
We may have to wait a little longer for the second-generation iPad mini, however. The sources claim Apple is still deciding whether to bring a Retina display to the 7.85-inch device, and if it does, the launch could be delayed until “the end of the fourth quarter.”
This rumor comes from DigiTimes, a less-then-reliable source of Apple rumors, and so we’d advise you to take it with a healthy helping of salt. But some of the claims here are pretty interesting.
The new iPad is expected to be thinner and lighter, with thinner bezels down the sides of its display. We expect it to look identical to the iPad mini, only bigger. Sources for DigiTimes claim that this new design will “allow a bigger viewing area,” though we’re not quite sure what that means.
The display itself will remain the same size — 9.7 inches — so you’ll still see the same amount of display you always have done, there will just be thinner bezels around it. Don’t expect to see more on the fifth-generation iPad, then; the language used in the DigiTimes report is just confusing.
The report also claims the iPad will one LED tube for backlighting as opposed to two, and better battery life. It’s unclear whether brightness will take a hit as a result of this, but we can’t imagine Apple would allow that to happen.
“Although suppliers have not yet received a firm mass production schedule from Apple and are mainly shipping products for pilot production, the sources pointed out that pilot production is already able to satisfy demand for the initial launch,” DigiTimes reports.
“Therefore, the sources expect Apple to give its shipment estimates at the end of July or early August.”
As for the new iPad mini, “Apple is still considering whether to adopt a Retina Display for the device,” according to DigiTimes. If it does, then there’s a possibility it won’t launch this September alongside the new iPad, but at “the end of the fourth quarter” instead.
Apple is also said to be looking to change the iPad mini’s design again to deliver even thinner bezels, “similar to that of Samsung and HTC’s large-size smartphones.”