Tuesday, December 25, 2012

iPad 5 due out in March, says report; expect a revolt from fourth-gen iPad owners

The fourth-generation iPad launched less than eight months after the third-generation iPad. That early release -- in terms of the normal annual refresh cycle -- annoyed some iPad 3 owners. Given that, could we be seeing a fifth-generation iPad release as early as March?

That would be one year after the iPad 3, but only about five months after the iPad 4. Despite that, according to Macotakara, a thinner, lighter version of the full-sized iPad will be released in March 2013. It should be noted that Macotakara has a mixed-record with its rumor reports, but let's be honest: with Apple, most everyone does.

The report said:
According to my inside source, iPad(5th) may be released in March, 2013. Source told that, design of this new iPad will be like iPad mini in detail, and be thinner and lightweight. (The expectation comes to have a small 4mm in height, 17mm in width, depth 2mm).
Since the site is Japanese, the translation is a bit difficult. Saying that the iPad 5 would be 4mm in thickness is impossible. Instead, Macotakara is obviously saying that the new iPad would have its current dimensions trimmed by those figures.

The iPad 4 is 241.2mm by 185.7mm by 9.4mm. If it loses 2mm in thickness, it would be only 7.4mm thick, which is very close to the iPad mini, which measures 7.2mm thin. We could believe that iPad could make those figures, but so soon after the iPad 4?

The first three generations of the iPad followed a March / April refresh cycle. However, many said that Apple's goal was to eventually move the iPad annual refresh to occur in the holiday timeframe, which is where it is now. So does this report make sense?

The report could make sense if Apple had pushed out the iPad 4 with the sole purpose of getting another Lightning device on the market with minor changes overall. Still, based on Apple's normal annual refresh, this seems far too soon. In addition, a refresh in March would create a huge uproar among iPad 4 buyers, who would essentially feel -- let's be honest -- ripped off.

The same report also claimed that Apple is working on a second generation of the iPad mini which will include a Retina display with the same 2,048 x 1,536 resolution as the third and fourth generation iPads. However, as we said previously, a rumor that the next-gen iPad mini will sport a Retina display is hardly a rumor; it's like announcing a rumor that Apple will release another iPhone in 2013.

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