Apple iPad 5 Release Date Coming: Redesigned Smart Cover For Next-Gen iPad, Thicker Retina iPad Mini Rumored

on October 15 2013 6:21 AM
Apple-iPad-5-Space-Grey
A design change with the iPad 5 could force Apple to introduce a new Smart Cover, an analyst said. Sonny Dickson

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to unveil a new form-factor for its iPad 5, which will include a thinner design with narrower bezels, leading the company to introduce a redesigned version of its iPad Smart Cover, an analyst said.

The upcoming iPad 5, which is highly rumored to be unveiled on Oct. 22, is likely to be between one-and-half and three-quarters of an inch narrower than the iPad 4, according to Brian J. White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, who said that several vendors have already started selling iPad cases and covers matching the new dimensions.

“Given this change in size, we believe this will provide Apple with an excuse to unveil a new Smart Cover and drive an upgrade cycle for this line of cases (also an upgrade cycle for non-Apple branded iPad cases), which we believe is an attractive margin product for Apple,” Fitzgerald wrote in a research note on Monday, obtained by Apple Insider. “Essentially, if you own a case for prior versions of the iPad, you will need to buy a new case for the iPad 5.”

Fitzgerald also suggested that the iPad 5 will also be available in the same three color options as the new iPhone 5s -- silver, golden and space gray. The analyst expects that the iPad 5’s new design would attract more customers to upgrade to the new model.

Apple-iPad-5-Space-Grey Apple iPad 5 in Space Grey.  Sonny Dickson

“Given that Apple did little in the way of changing the look and feel of the past couple of iPad iterations, we believe Apple's sizable installed base is ready to purchase a new full-sized iPad,” White wrote.

Meanwhile, another report from Japanese website Macotakara said Monday that the retina iPad mini, which is also expected to be unveiled at the Oct. 22 event, would be 7.5 millimeters thick, compared to the existing 7.2-millimeter-thick model. According to the report, the new iPad mini will gain 0.3 millimeters in width to accommodate a larger battery to support the retina display.

The rumored modifications to the retina iPad mini are similar to those introduced to the company’s third generation full-size iPad -- the first iPad version to feature retina display. The iPad 3 gained 0.6 millimeters over the iPad 2.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 5 and the retina iPad mini on Oct. 22 but some reports have also suggested that the new tablets could be released to the public on Nov. 1.

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