December 24, 2012
Rumor Mill Begins Over Next-gen iPads And iPad Minis
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
There's a new iPad rumor hitting the mill just in time for the holidays. As good fortune would have it, website Macotakara is now claiming Apple will be launching both a new iPad mini and 5th generation iPad proper come March, thus putting the iPad back in its spring time release schedule and rendering all those brand new holiday iPads somewhat outdated.Sure, the difference between the 3rd and 4th generation iPad is small and not incredibly noticeable, but imagine how disappointed those who bought a 3rd generation will feel to know their still one-year old "new" iPads are now essentially 2 cycles behind.
As one would expect, these new rumors claim the next iPad will be - shocker - thinner and lighter than the previous models, coming it at 4mm tall and 17mm wide with a depth of 2mm. The next 5th generation iPad is also expected to adopt some of the iPad mini and iPhone 5 styling cues, including an anodized aluminum back and sleeker mute and volume buttons.
In another "shocking" claim, Macotakara says their sources have told them the next iPad mini will finally have a Retina display, which is a bit of a rehashing of previous rumors.
In the days leading up to the iPad mini release, many had debated if Apple would include a Retina display in the first version of this new iPad smaller. To include it would mean a sacrifice when it came to thinness and price, but to omit it out would leave their newest device out in the cold when it comes to high-definition displays.
As pointed out by 9to5Mac.com, the new dimensions for the next generation iPad as defined by Macotakara would not only make this iPad thinner than the current tablet, but it also suggests a narrower and shorter iPad as well. While it's never out of the question for Apple to revamp their designs, such a change would make the first time these dimensions have been changed on the iPad.
All in all, these rumors don't seem to challenge Apple's normal approach to updating their devices. Of course they'll try to make one of their best-selling devices even thinner and lighter. Likewise, it´s not out of the question that they'll want to one day bring Retina to the iPad mini. Bringing it to the second generation (and in March, no less) does seem to be a bit of a stretch.
Finally, if these rumors are true, it could be a sign Apple is not relenting when it comes to improving and releasing their tablets.
The iPad maker threw a bit of a curveball in October when they released the 4th generation iPad. From the very beginning, the iPad had been released on a spring schedule, somewhere in between March and April. Releasing this device in the spring put some room in between their iOS devices: iPads in spring, iPhones in Autumn. However, the downside to this release schedule was the iPad was a popular holiday gift, and these brand new iPad owners had to live with the reality their shiny new device would be outdated in a matter of months. Releasing an iPad just before the holiday shopping months makes sense. Doing so also puts the iPhone and iPad together in the same season. However, releasing yet another new iPad could upset not only those who had just purchased a new iPad, but those who purchased a brand new, 3rd generation iPad.
It's entirely likely the new iPad will adopt Apple's new design cues and become thinner and lighter. It's also entirely believable the iPad mini will one day receive the Retina treatment. What's left to be seen (and has been debated at length) is where these products will eventually land in the annual release cycle.