Apple is expected to start mass production of the iPad 5 sometime between July and August, with a release date coming in the third quarter of this year, claims a new report, adding that the production of iPad mini 2 may be delayed until November.

The fifth generation iPad, sporting a 9.7-inch screen, will feature a thinner touch panel solution that will lighten the device by 20 to 30 percent, DigiTimes has reported, citing sources at Apple's suppliers in Taiwan.


The iPad 5, which is expected to have a modified design, will also come with a slimmer bezel that will increase the display area of the flagship tablet. By end of the third quarter, iPad 5 shipments are estimated to touch five million units while total shipments, including older versions of the iPad, are expected to total about eight million units, the report adds.

As for the second generation iPad mini, dubbed the “iPad mini 2,” the report has revealed that the device’s production has been pushed back to November from September. Although there is no clear reason provided for the delay, the report speculates that Apple may want to have a gap between the two product introductions as the current iPad mini hurt sales of the full-size iPad in 2012.

The report also says that the iPad mini 2, which is likely to get a Retina display this time around, could be delayed due to production issues.

In April, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said, in a research note, that the iPad mini 2 would be launched later than previously expected due to some complex “technical challenges” in the manufacturing process.

It was earlier estimated that Apple’s tablet shipment could reach up to 100 million units in 2013 with the iPad mini accounting for 35 percent of that volume and the 9.7-inch iPad model gaining 65 percent. However, if the iPad mini 2 is indeed delayed, total iPad shipments for 2013 may be lower than expectations.