Developer Nick Frey has discovered a hidden file in the iOS 7 SDK which lists all the iOS devices that will support Apple's new firmware. His discovery has revealed that Apple is testing a new iPad mini without Retina display. This supports an earlier report by Taiwan's Economic Daily News which claimed the iPad mini's display would not be receiving a bump in resolution in 2013.
Frey told 9to5Mac that the file references three new iPad mini models code named J75, J76, and J77. This means Apple is currently looking at launching another WiFi-only model and two cellular models, which would fall in line with the current iPad mini lineup. The references also suggest that the new alleged iPads will feature the “s5l8950x” processor, or the same A6 chip as the iPhone 5.
The word "mini" greatly differs when it comes to Android and iOS devices these days. HTC recently announced the 4.3-inch HTC One Mini. The new handset is slightly larger than the iPhone 5, but it is also smaller than the now standard 5-inch Android smartphone. Samsung has also released a 4.3-inch "mini" version of its popular Galaxy S4. Both the HTC One and GS4 mini devices make Apple's largest iPhone seem small in comparison. So it makes sense that Apple is exploring iPhone prototypes larger than 4-inches. However, Apple is also mulling over larger iPad prototypes. The Cupertino, California company has asked its suppliers in Asia for "screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Reuters also reported back in June that Apple was considering introducing a 4.7- and 5.7-inch iPhone in the future. Both the WSJ and Reuters claim Apple is taking a cue from its rival Samsung, who offers a variety of products at different prices and sizes. Samsung has taken an "all things to all people" approach releasing four different versions of its Galaxy S4 handset this year. The South Korean company is also launching 7-, 8- and 10.1-inch versions of its Galaxy Tab 3 later this month.
One week after the Economic Daily News reported that the iPad mini 2 would be delayed until 2014, the DigiTimes claims LG will "ship about 2-3 million" Retina panels a month in preparation for Apple's next-generation iPad mini launch in October. The DigiTimes also reports that LG is prepared to ship "2.5-3 million 9.7-inch panels a month for the iPad in the third quarter of 2013."
Several sources, including Taiwan's Economic Daily News, claim otherwise, citing production issues with the supply chain as the reason for Apple's delay. The Economic Daily News previously reported that low yields of second-generation iPad mini Retina displays have caused Apple to push back the tablet's release to 2014. The outlet also suggested that Apple may release an updated and more affodable non-Retina version of the iPad mini for the 2013 holiday shopping season. However, everyone seems to agree Apple will release a new 9.7-inch iPad in 2013.
The iPad mini with Retina display could be delayed until 2014, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via MacRumors). The site claims that a shortage of Retina display panels for the second-generation iPad has caused Apple to push back its release date until next year. This is not the first time we have heard about a possible iPad mini 2 delay, the DigiTimes previously reported that the new 7.9-inch slate would not see volume production until November due to production issues.
Back in April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities also cited production issues when he predicted that the iPad mini 2 would be delayed until 2014. However, many analysts still expect Apple to launch a second-generation iPad mini in Q4 of 2013, just before the holiday shopping season, and after the iPad 5 is released in Q3.
Alleged leaked iPad 5 schematics confirm reports that the next-generation Apple tablet will feature a more iPad-mini like design. The French blog NowhereElse.fr posted three images that show the iPad’s speaker has been moved from the back to the bottom, and that the iPad 5 will feature a thinner body and skinnier side bezels. These are all characteristic of Apple's original iPad mini released last year.
Earlier this year, Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge described a fifth-generation iPad prototype as "stretched iPad mini," and the Asia trade publication DigiTimes said the new iPad would be 33 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the iPad 4. The DigiTimes also reported that iPad 5 production will begin in July-August, and start shipping in September.
Apple may not be releasing the iPad Mini with the Retina display right away, according to a report they gave earlier this week. Instead, a slimmer version may be released first, supposedly in the second half of this year.
This next-generation slimmer iPad Mini will be receiving an upgraded processor. The current A5 processor will be replaced with the A6, as the iPad Mini with the retina display was forecasted to have. The disappointment that Apple fans will face is that, like the current generation, the new device will contain a 1,024x768 display.
Tim Hickman, the CEO and founder of Gumdrop Cases, also known as the manufacturer of Hard Candy Cases, has announced the company will begin manufacturing a series of cases for the iPad 5 in advance of the iPad’s reveal. Expecting Apple to unveil the next-generation iPad at the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, Hickman and his company are ready to take the leap into producing accessories based only on an inside source and the circulating iPad rumors.
This is not the first time that Gumdrop has announced the release of an accessory for an Apple product before Apple announces the release of the product itself. Prior to the release of the iPhone 4S, Gumdrop manufactured a case for what they expected to be the iPhone 5 that did not fit the phone. Despite that one misstep, they have been right on 4 out of 5 releases.
That's right iPad fans. Both the 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad mini will be refreshed with improved hardware before the end of this year. DigiTimes issued a report breaking down production and release dates for both Apple tablets in the works. Sources include Taiwan-based supply chain manufacturers, who claim the iPad mini 2 will not achieve volume production until November 2013.
It's not clear whether or not the next generation iPad mini has been postponed due to component shortages or if Apple is looking to boost full-size iPad sales ahead of the revamped iPad mini launch. The fifth-generation iPad is expected to enter mass production starting in July, with the product hitting shelves during the third quarter of this year. The photo above from CiccareseDesign is an artist's rendering of the iPad mini 2 and redesigned iPad 5 side-by-side.
One of the more interesting rumors circling around Apple's plans for the next generation of iPads has surfaced. According to a report cited by Unwired View, the iPad will soon come in three different sizes thanks to the addition of an iPad maxi with 12.9-inch display. The name is said to be tentative, but then the entire notion that Apple will build larger iPads is unconfirmed at the moment.
That being said, the addition of a 12.9-inch iPad would fit nicely with the existing 9.7-inch iPad and 7.9-inch iPad mini currently on the market. The larger form factor would be aimed at the digital textbook market as well as those needing creative and productivity software packages on their tablets. iPad maxi would also compete with smaller notebooks, providing better portability and battery life.
Apple Inc's shares fell below $400 for the first time since 2011, after a report from the DigiTimes claimed iPad mini shipments will decline by as much as 30% during the second quarter of 2013. Sources in the supply chain expect a 20-30% decline in shipments due to anticipation of a second-generation device. However, it's common for interest in an older device to slow when a product refresh is expected.
Cirrus Logic, who makes chips for the iPhone and iPad, also fueled the fire when it reported an inventory glut. Since Cirrus relies on Apple for most of its revenue, the manufacturer's success is considered a good indicator of demand for Apple products. Analysts believe Cirrus' unsold inventory shows a diminished consumer interest in Apple's iPhone and iPad.