Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release the fifth generation iPad, dubbed the "iPad 5," in September, while the launch of the second generation iPad mini could be delayed a little longer, a new report said on Monday.
The iPad 5, featuring a 9.7-inch screen with Retina Display, will have a slimmer bezel, allowing a bigger viewing area. The device’s LED tubes to backlight the Retina Display will be reduced from two to one, while the battery's longevity will also be improved, DigiTimes reported, citing “sources from the upstream supply chain.”
“Since upstream suppliers have mostly finished preparing for the production of the new 9.7-inch iPad, there is unlikely to be any changes in terms of specifications for the device,” the report said.
Regardless of the fact that suppliers are yet to receive a solid mass production schedule from the Cupertino Calif.,-based tech giant, the sources said that the pilot production of the iPad 5 has already satisfied demand for the device's initial launch. Therefore, the sources believe that Apple will give shipment estimates of its upcoming flagship tablet by the end of this month, or in early August.
According to the DigiTimes report, the iPad 5 will be unveiled sometime in September, but the second iteration of its smaller variant, the iPad mini 2, may be delayed as Apple is "still considering whether to adopt a Retina display for the device."
Should the 7.9-inch iPad mini 2 feature a Retina Display, the device’s release date could be postponed until the end of the fourth quarter of this year, the report said, adding that Apple is considering reducing the iPad mini 2’s bezel size even further to achieve “a bezel-less design,” as that of Samsung and HTC's large-size smartphones.
Monday’s report was in line with another report from DigiTimes in June, which said that Apple could start production of the iPad 5 sometime between July and August, with a release date coming in the third quarter of this year, while the production of iPad mini 2 may be delayed until November.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted in April that the iPad mini 2 would be launched later than previously expected due to some complex “technical challenges” in the manufacturing process.
In addition, analysts at NPD DisplaySearch have also cast doubt on Apple’s plans for a Retina Display-featuring iPad mini for 2013. According to them, the company will release a thinner iPad mini later this year, followed by an updated version in the first quarter of 2014 with Retina Display and an improved processor.