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.
An alleged iPad 5 case showing off the device's rumored "iPad mini-like design" has popped up at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Engadget got an early look at the fifth-generation iPad accessory, which was modeled after a leaked mold of the device. The Engadget staff compared the case to older iPad cases, and discovered that the new iPad will be "slimmer and narrower," if the case's design is accurate.
This is not the first time we have heard the iPad 5 will feature the same screen size as its predecessors, while sporting thinner left and right-side bezels like the iPad mini. In February, case manufacturer MiniSuit claimed to know the next-generation tablet's official specs, and built a similar case based on the leaked info. iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz also claimed to have seen a "physical model of the completely redesigned fifth-generation iPad", and said it resembled a "stretched iPad mini".
The Chinese website WeiPhone has posted a few images of what they claim is the rear aluminum shell of the second-generation iPad mini. It's unknown if these are real or fake, but manufacturer AU Optronics has purportedly started manufacturing displays for the new tablet. So it's possible that these are in production too.
The images show an odd, possible pre-production, blue logo, and a thicker housing, which does coincide with current Retina display rumors. The iPad 3 saw a bump in thickness when it was released with Retina display in 2012. The only reason we're considering these images is because WeiPhone has a decent record of publishing leaked Apple images, like it did with the iPad 3's logic board in 2011.
Display manufacturer AU Optronics has caught up with iPad mini yields, and is working on Apple's next-generation 7.9-inch tablet, according to the DigiTimes. The original iPad mini has been in short supply since its release, but Apple has recently updated its online store listing as "in stock".
Industry sources also said AOU is working on new displays for the iPad mini 2. The second generation tablet is rumored to be receiving Retina display, which could increase the price. It is estimated that the new displays will raise production costs by 30%. If true, Apple could pass the extra costs onto customers.
Starting at $329 the iPad mini already costs more than most 7-inch tablets on the market, and adding a high resolution Retina display could make it even more pricier. According to iSuppli (via the DigiTimes), bumping the iPad mini's resolution from 1024x768 to 2,048x1536 would raise production costs by 30%. If true, these extra costs would either have to be eaten by Apple, or be passed onto consumers. Apple isn't known for increasing prices from on from one generation to the next, but it is hard to see how they can keep the iPad mini priced at $329 if all the rumored hardware upgrades are true.
A lot of people were displeased with the iPad mini's lack of Retina display, but a lot of people were also shocked by the $329 price tag. So will people be willing to pay more money for more resolution? I guess it depends on why someone wants a smaller tablet in the first place.