Analysts are rarely accurate when it comes to iPhone or iPad rumors, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo may be the only exception to the rule. In 2012, he correctly predicted Apple’s entire product pipeline, including the features and release date for the iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPhone 5; on Wednesday, Kuo published a new research note (via MacRumors) detailing the expected release date and specs for Apple’s fifth-generation iPad, more commonly referred to as “iPad 5.”
iPad 5: What Will It Look Like?
Confirming previous rumors, reports and even leaked photos of alleged cases, Kuo believes the iPad 5 will be both thinner and lighter than last year’s full-size iPad, the iPad 4.
“We think the tablet will, at 7.5-8.0mm, be 15 percent thinner than iPad 4,” Kuo said. “The new device will likely be about 500 grams, or some 25 percent lighter than iPad 4, run on an A7X processor, and sport cameras with similar specs to the iPad 4’s (front HD, rear 5MP). The casing shape and color (silver and black) and narrow bezel design will be similar to the iPad mini’s.”
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Kuo believes Apple will use the same multilayer-glass-based GF2 touch technology first implemented in the iPad Mini, which will slim down the display thickness and allow the iPad 5 to be even thinner than its predecessors.
With less room needed to house the display, Kuo believes Apple will introduce more efficient specs and chip technologies to reduce the iPad 5’s overall energy consumption. Battery life has always been a problem with the iPad, whether it sucks up too much power or it makes the device too hot to hold; with more efficient chipsets, Apple can release the iPad 5 with a smaller and thinner battery, which should reduce complaints about excessive drain and overheating.
“We therefore think that iPad 5’s battery capacity will be 25-30 percent smaller, at 8,500-9,000mAh, than iPad 4’s, and the battery’s thickness will be 15-20 percent smaller, at 7.5-8.0mm, and the number of cells will be reduced to two from three,” Kuo said in his report.
To mimic other iPad mini features and specs, the iPad 5 will reportedly be built in an anodized aluminum enclosure with diamond-cut chamfered edges and an altered speaker design. According to Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, the dimensions of the iPad 5 are said to be 4 mm shorter and 17 mm narrower than the iPad 4. And at about 2 mm thinner than the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad 5 is said to rival the thinness of the smaller iPad mini. These new iPad dimensions were also corroborated by Kuo’s most recent report, as well as the recently leaked iPad cases.
On April 10, French site Nowhereelse claimed to have the first look at the coming tablet's new front-face design. The photos are embedded below.
When Will Apple Release The iPad 5?
According to Kuo, Apple will release the iPad 5 around the same August-September time as the company’s new iPod touch and iPod nano; the iPhone 5S was originally scheduled to release around that period too, but Kuo just last week altered his release date predictions for the newest iPhone, saying Apple will likely launch the phone sometime in September through November.
Contradictory reports have pegged an earlier release date than August for the iPad 5; a handful of journalists close to Apple said in a Branch chat earlier this month that Apple could release the iPad 5 as early as April.
“I've been hearing rumblings of an April event for sometime now, as I'm sure we all have,” Fox anchor Clayton Morris said. “But so many factors could be in play. The spring has traditionally been iPad season, and we're hearing about cutbacks in larger iPad supply.”
“I've heard from several sources that there was/is an event planned for April, new 9.7 inch iPad if it's ready,” said iMore editor-in-chief Rene Ritchie.
“I've also heard April, but never in conjunction with iPhone, only iPad,” said TNW managing editor Matthew Panzarino.
“I've heard nothing, but I'd think Apple would like to introduce the new Mini-style full-size iPad in April,” said Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. “If we don't see it in April, I'd guess that it's late. And if it's late, I think they'd do a standalone event in May rather than hold it until WWDC in (I presume) June.”
In all likelihood, Apple will release the iPad 5 in the summer months between June and August – September, at the very latest. But with an increasing number of iPad-related leaks coming in the past few weeks, it’s still possible Apple could reveal its next-gen tablet sooner rather than later. Stay tuned as Apple is expected to hold a media event sometime in April, which will center on either Apple TV or the iPad.