As we first predicted late last month, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to introduce two new iPad models at an Oct. 22 media event, including the second-generation iPad mini, or the so-called iPad mini 2, and the fifth-generation full-size iPad, or the so-called iPad 5. Given this event date, we believe the official release date for both tablets will be Nov. 1.
The new iPad mini is expected to be released with a modest upgrade to its processor, and possibly (finally) a Retina display, but the new iPad 5 might just steal the show at the Oct. 22 event, as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s fifth-generation iPad will reportedly release with dramatic changes to its exterior and interior features.
We’ve already described what consumers should expect from the iPad 5 in terms of features, but don’t just take our word for it: In the case of the iPad 5, seeing is believing. We’ve amassed a collection of 25 alleged photographs of the iPad 5 leaked over the last year to give you an accurate depiction of what Apple fans should expect from the iPad 5 before its Oct. 22 unveiling and what we believe to be its Nov. 1 release date.
And, as promised, here are your three iPad 5 videos, courtesy of Unbox Therapy and SW-Box.com.
Apple IPad 5 Release Date Nears: What To Expect
The design of the 9.7-inch iPad has remained static since the release of the iPad 2 in March 2011. Two-and-one-half years -- and two iPad models -- later, Apple is finally expected to unveil its 2013 iPad with a newly redesigned form factor that more closely resembles its mini counterpart.
Apple has reportedly chosen to release the iPad 5 with the same thickness, thin side bezels and symmetrical speaker grilles as the iPad mini, as well as a similar aluminum unibody and less-tapered back for an easier grip. To complement this new form factor, we’re also expecting the company to release the iPad 5 as a significantly lighter tablet than its predecessors: According to Apple, the iPad 4 weighs 1.46 pounds, and the iPad mini weighs 0.69 pounds, so we’re expecting the company’s iPad 5 to tip the scales somewhere between those two measurements, possibly at 1.08 pounds, or 490 grams.
Regarding processors, Apple noted the iPad 4 is powered by a dual-core A6X chip with quad-core graphics: For the release of the iPad 5, we believe Apple may implement its A7 chip from the iPhone 5S, but we’re more likely to see the company push the limits yet again with an A7X chip, which would perform similarly to the A7 chip but be optimized for iPad. If the A7X chip is anything at all like the A7 chip, that may mean Apple could release the iPad 5 with the same M7 co-processor found in the iPhone 5S (which isn’t really essential, but it would be a test-run before the chip’s mass implementation in the iWatch) as well as Touch ID.
That’s right, Apple’s newest -- and much-discussed, as indicated by Reuters -- fingerprint technology is expected to be released in the iPad 5. It may be a little early for the company to implement Touch ID so soon after its initial release within the iPhone 5S less than a month ago, but assuming the iPad 5 features an upgrade in the processor department, Apple will release the iPad 5 with either an A7 or a A7X chip, which would be a variant of the A7 specifically optimized for the iPad 5. What’s different about the A7 chip is that it’s specifically designed for Touch ID: Apple designed the A7 so fingerprint information can be stored safely and securely within a cordoned-off region of the chip, which only communicates with other parts of the same chip with simple “Yes” or “No” responses to make sure fingerprint information can never be reached and therefore compromised. So, if the iPad 5 runs on any variant of the A7 chip, consumers might expect to see a small metallic ring around the tablet’s home button when the iPad 5 is released later this year.
Besides these features and specifications, we’re also expecting the iPad 5 to be released with an upgrade in the camera department. The iPad 4 featured a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with 720p HD video and a 5-megapixel rear-side camera with 1080p HD video, and we expect tweaks in both cameras. Based on the rumors out there, we believe Apple will release the iPad 5 with an 8-megapixel camera for the first time, and we also believe the company will release the iPad 5 with a slightly improved FaceTime HD camera, likely a 2-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video.
And, finally, we believe Apple plans to release the iPad 5 in at least two new color schemes -- silver and space gray. At least, that’s what Sonny Dickson has speculated. However, there is a possibility the company may release the iPad 5 with a new gold color option, which proved extremely successful for the release of the iPhone 5S. If the iPad 5 isn’t released in gold, there’s a possibility Apple has reserved that color specifically for the new iPad mini.
What Else To Expect At The Oct. 22 Event
Besides the iPad 5, Apple is also expected to unveil its second-generation iPad mini on Oct. 22. However, the picture for that new mini tablet isn’t so clear.
Rumors and allegedly leaked photos indicate Apple plans to release the iPad mini 2 with the exact same form factor as its predecessor, which means one of two things: The iPad mini 2 would be released with slightly upgraded specs and a Retina display, or the iPad mini 2 would not feature a Retina display, but the company would sweeten the deal with upgraded specs, maybe a gold color option and possibly even Touch ID, although the required A7 chip would constitute a major jump from the processor of the first iPad mini generation. Still, many have been hoping for an iPad mini with Retina display since the day the first iPad mini arrived last October (myself included).
In addition to the iPads, we also expect the jam-packed Oct. 22 event to reintroduce Mac OS X Mavericks, which was first unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote event in June. To go with the new Mac software, we also expect the company to update its Mac hardware, including a new MacBook Pro with Retina display (this time, powered by Intel’s fourth-generation Haswell processor), a new Mac mini, and a new Mac Pro, which was also given a sneak peek in June. We may also see a few surprises at the Oct. 22 event, including new Apple TV hardware -- and, possibly, a first glimpse at the company’s rumored smart wristwatch, the iWatch. We believe most new Mac hardware will release within one to three days after the Oct. 22 unveiling, while we maintain the release date for both new iPads will be the following Friday.
What do you think about the iPad 5? Does the iPad 5 or iPad mini 2 sound more appealing to you? What else are you looking forward to at Apple’s Oct. 22 event? Do you plan to purchase either of the new iPads on the tablets’ expected Nov. 1 release date? Let us know in the comments section below.