Apple iPad 5 Release Date Nears: Analyst Expects Retina iPad Mini, Thinner iPad But No Touch ID Nor Gold-Color Option

  @KukilBora on October 21 2013 8:16 AM

On the eve of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Oct. 22 event, where the company is likely to unveil its new iPad models for 2013, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report predicting what might transpire at Tuesday’s event.

According to Kuo, Apple is highly expected to introduce a thinner and lighter iPad 5 and a new iPad mini with retina display. While some earlier reports have suggested that the retina iPad mini may not be released in 2013, Kuo seems confident that the device will be made available this year, but predicts that initial supplies of the device could be highly constrained.

Kuo also estimates that the iPad 5 and the retina iPad mini will most likely not include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, nor will they come with a gold-colored option as components for both features are still being prioritized for the iPhone 5s, limiting supplies, MacRumors reported. 

Here is a table, showing Kuo’s expectations about the specifications of the iPad 5:

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As for other improvements on the new iPads, Kuo believes that both iPad 5 and retina iPad mini may feature Apple’s new “M7” chip, which was incorporated in the iPhone 5s to improve motion tracking. And, other than the new iPads, Kuo also predicts that Apple might introduce the retina MacBook Pro, featuring Intel's latest Haswell chips for enhanced performance and battery life, and the full HD FaceTime camera.

According to Kuo, the iPad 5 should help Apple gain impressive sales for its full-sized iPad, while the second-generation iPad mini is expected to provide only “a more modest bump” because of limited initial supplies.

Here's a table showing Kuo’s estimates about shipments of iPads and MacBooks in the fourth quarter of 2013:

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the new iPads are set to hit the market at a critical time for Apple as tablets are now the company’s second-biggest revenue source after the iPhone, having generated $29 billion in the nine months until June 30.

However, the company shipped fewer iPads in the June quarter compared to the same period in 2012 -- a drop not seen since the launch of the original iPad in 2010.

Meanwhile, Gartner has also estimated that Apple’s share in the worldwide tablet market may fall below 50 percent in 2014, from 65 percent in 2011. On the other hand, the market share of Android-powered tablets may touch 47.2 percent in 2014, increasing from 29.5 percent in 2011.

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