Friday, April 19, 2013

Fifth-generation iPad to be 25 percent lighter, 15 percent thinner: Kuo

Apple's fifth-generation iPad will be about 15 percent thinner and about 1/4 lighter, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been fairly reliable in the past. The research note, issued Wednesday, followed an earlier leak of claimed iPad 5 cases that showed Apple slimming down its tablet.

Kuo said:
We think the tablet will, at 7.5 - 8.0mm, be 15 percent thinner than iPad 4. The new device will likely be about 500 grams, or some 25% lighter than iPad 4, run on an A7X processor, and sport cameras with similar specs to the iPad 4’s (front HD, rear 5MP). The casing shape and color (silver and black) and narrow bezel design will be similar to the iPad mini’s.
Earlier predictions said that the iPad 5 will be slimmed down about 2mm from the device's current 9.5mm thickness. The prediction of 7.5mm - 8.0mm is in line with that.

Kuo predicted -- somewhat obviously -- that Apple will use the GF2 touch technology used in the iPad mini for the iPad 5, which should enable the company to create a thinner display for the next-generation full-sized iPad. He also believes -- also somewhat obviously -- that with more efficient chip and display technologies, Apple will be able to decrease overall power consumption, too.

What this means is that Apple can reduce the battery size -- thus leading to some of the weight savings -- while at the same time at least retaining the same battery life as the iPad 4.
We therefore think that iPad 5’s battery capacity will be 25 - 30 percent smaller, at 8,500 - 9,000mAh, than iPad 4’s, and the battery’s thickness will be 15 - 20 percent smaller, at 7.5 - 8.0mm, and the number of cells will be reduced to two from three.
Apple will stick with Samsung as its processor supplier, Kuo said, with a A7X chip that will leverage Samsung's 28-nanometer process.

This discounts reports that Apple would be shifting its A-series chip production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), but Kuo believes that a transition away from Samsung, Apple's BFF as well as biggest rival, is further away than that timewise, more in line with rumors that a partnership between Apple and TSMC for 20-nanometer A7 chips will not begin production until early 2014.

In total, Kuo’s iPad 5 predictions are:
  • 7.5 - 8.0mm – 15 percent thinner than the iPad 4
  • 500 grams – 25 percent lighter than the iPad 4
  • 9.7-inch display with GF2 touch technology as in the iPad mini
  • Apple A7X processor
  • 5MP rear camera, HD front camera, similar to the iPad 4
  • Design similar to the iPad mini
  • 8,500 - 9,000mAh battery – 25 to 30 percent smaller than the iPad 4

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