Apple is speculated to release its fifth-generation iPad sometime this year and now word's on the street that the next-gen tablet will go into production in July or August this year. Moreover, the iPad 5 will not release alongside the iPad mini 2, as previously speculated.
The latest information is courtesy of DigiTimes, which cites, "Taiwan-based supply chain makers" as its sources. Apparently, the sources have disclosed that "Volume production of a new-generation 9.7-inch iPad will begin in July-August with shipments in the third quarter estimated at five million units."
According to DigiTimes' sources, "The next-generation 9.7-inch iPad is expected to adopt a thin-film-type touch panel solution to reduce its weight by 20-30% and will adopt a slim bezel design to increase the display area. The new iPad's industrial design reportedly will also be modified."
That's not all, in case you were wondering about the smaller sibling iPad mini, the second-gen version of the tablet could see "its volume production postponed from September to November." The delay in production of the iPad mini 2 is apparently linked to the iPad 5 release. Market watchers believe that Apple does not want to be in a similar situation as 2012, when the sales of the iPad mini impacted the popularity of the just-released iPad 4.
This time round, it seems that Apple intends on focusing on one tablet at a time. However, some analysts opine that the delay in iPad mini 2's release is not deliberate and because of iPad 5, but has been pushed forward due to "the supply chain being unable to meet the mass-production schedule."
"Market watchers originally estimated Apple's tablet shipments to reach 80-100 million units in 2013 with iPad mini accounting for 35% of the volume and 9.7-inch iPads 65%. However, with iPad mini's volume production delayed to the fourth quarter, total iPad shipments for 2013 may be lower," reports DigiTimes.
Previous rumors pertaining to the iPad 5 have hinted that the tablet could have smarter control features. The iPad 5 will allegedly be lighter than its predecessor and take on the design sensibilities of its smaller sibling iPad mini.
Earlier in May, we reported that the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 were set to release in September and would pack in the faster A7 processor. However, now it seems that fans of the iPad mini will have to wait a little longer.