The iPhone 5S, 5C, and iOS 7 are now out and available to all. Now it’s time for some new iPads. Apple has been making a lot of big changes lately, and we expect many of them to extend to its fifth iPad 5 and second iPad Mini. Both devices defined their categories and they are both set for an upgrade. We aren’t expecting Apple to reinvent the tablet this year or come out with a new iPad model, but there are some changes afoot. Below is everything we think we know about the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.
Updated on 10-21-2013 by Andy Boxall: An analyst for KGI Securities has listed his predictions for Apple’s event, specifically surrounding the new iPad and iPad Mini 2, indicating he doesn’t expect either to come with a Touch ID sensor or a gold color scheme.
It’s coming October 22 (Confirmed)
Many sources, including CNet, have confirmed that Apple sent out invites to an event on October 22 in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco at 10am Pacific. This backs up an earlier rumor by AllThingsD. The invites say “We still have a lot more to cover.”
We strongly believe that this event will be iPad-centric event. We expect a new iPad Mini and iPad to be shown at the event, and AllThingsD believes a new MacBook Pro and info on OS X Mavericks are also coming on this day. All of this information makes sense and is likely to be announced based on Apple’s behavior in the past.
This is pure speculation, but the word “cover” could mean something. Does Apple have a new cover for its iPad? Its Smart Cover has been a popular seller for the last couple years. Is Apple planning a new cover to compete with Microsoft’s TypeCover? We have no idea, but we’d welcome one!
iPad 5 will be thinner and lighter, look like iPad Mini
It’s looking like the iPad 5 will be thinner and lighter than previous models. From the many leaked shots Apple rumorist Sonny Dickinson has posted, it appears to have a new design that’s identical to the iPad Mini. The volume rocker will be split up and the speaker may now face downward, like the Lightning connector. We’re hoping this doesn’t lead to a reduction in sound quality. The iPad has the best speaker sound of most any tablet, currently.
This thinner, lighter talk is backed up a rumor sparked by KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been accurate in the past. Kuo suggested 15 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter. The DigiTimes report claims that the glass of the display will be 0.05mm thinner and that the iPad 5 will be “25-33 percent lighter” than the iPad 4. This will be possible because “The new iPad will use one LED light bar for backlighting, compared to two LED light bars used in fourth-generation iPad, the sources noted.”
LED lighting could mean that less battery is required, making it possible to shrink the overall size of the iPad and reduce the size of the roughly 1-inch bezel around the screen. This claim was backed up by Paul Semenza, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, in an email to CNet. Shots of this same thinner iPad have circulated since January when 9to5Mac showed off a possible picture of the fifth-generation iPad prototype’s back casing. We think the 9.7-inch screen will stay. Either that or the size will stay and the screen will get bigger.
It will come in Space Gray, maybe gold?
Some of the leaked shots show off a gray color that looks identical to the new shade available on the iPhone 5S. That means that there’s also a chance you can buy a blinged out gold version, too. And judging from the oddly high demand on the iPhone 5S, some of you definitely want gold devices. You may get your wish.
64-bit processors for both iPad and Mini
The iPhone 5S is the first mobile device with a 64-bit processor inside it, but it may be joined by both new iPads. Apple usually incorporates its newest phone processor into its newest iPad, and that means a 64-bit A7 processor for the iPad 5. Deutsche Bank is so confident in it, and the processing benefits it will bring, that it has downgraded sales estimates for the entire PC market on anticipation that the iPad will further eat into laptop computer sales once this new model is available.
“We…expect growing [desktop] virtualization and iPad deployments in the enterprise to pressure corporate PC sales through 2014-15…We expect AAPL’s [Apple’s] iPad refresh to include 64 bit architecture, which should enable a greater array of enterprise App development and facilitate greater enterprise penetration over time. In the near term, back to school PC demand appears relatively soft and recent new hardware releases (Haswell) had little impact spurring incremental demand. Furthermore, we believe the corporate upgrade cycle will peak in [second half of calendar year 2013] as corporates complete Win 7 transitions ahead of Microsoft’s ending support of XP in early 2014.
Few iPhone 5S apps have taken advantage of the 64-bit A7 processor, but putting it in a larger-screened device like the iPad could really spur creativity and spark a new generation of more powerful software for Apple. There is no reason why it wouldn’t put this into the iPad. What we are less sure about is if the iPad Mini 2 will get an A7 chip. At a reduced price, Apple cannot afford to put all the bells and whistle into its smaller tablet. The first iPad Mini had a year-old processor put into it to save money.
13-inch iPad screen?
Most rumors seem content with the idea that the new iPad is going to have a 9.7-inch screen, but The Wall Street Journal did run a piece about Apple testing out larger displays. Apparently they ordered a prototype screen design of just less than 13 inches. The chances of the next iPad actually being that size are low, but we could see a bigger iPad at some point in the future. What we can’t see is Apple calling it the iPad Maxi, as tentatively suggested by ETNews back in May.
Of course, Apple could increase the size of the screen in the iPad, but retain the same overall size if it chooses to reduce the bezel, or border around the screen, which is currently close to an inch on the iPad 4.
Retina-screen iPad Mini 2?
The one big let down of the iPad Mini is its screen. And from the moment it came out, we figured that its sequel would have a Retina, higher resolution screen. According to DisplaySearch, and many other sources, the iPad Mini 2 will indeed have a screen with a 2048 × 1536 pixel resolution (same as iPad 4). What we don’t know is if it will be announced alongside the iPad 5, or if Apple will hold it until 2014 due to cost or production problems related to the new screen.
Touch ID fingerprint sensor coming.
The iPhone 5S has a fingerprint sensor on it that Apple calls Touch ID. Though it’s functionality is still limited to unlocking the phone and making App Store purchases, it seems to work well and there hasn’t been a ton of blowback from naysayers. We think that Apple will put the Touch ID sensor into the iPad 5, and maybe the iPad Mini 2. It’s clear that it’s making a big bet on Touch ID becoming a standard, and there’s no time like the present to keep the ball rolling.
This rumor was kicked into life by 9to5Mac after an iOS leak revealed some related code in iOS 7. More recently, C Technology (via BGR) published supposed pictures of the Home button connector for the new iPad 5. It claims that this connector has been completely redesigned and is now similar to the iPhone 5S.
Analyst says no to Touch ID, yes to slimmer and lighter iPad, and to Retina iPad Mini
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, has come up with a set of predictions for the October 22 Apple event. He says we shouldn’t expect the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to appear on either the full-size or the mini iPad, due to production of the parts only being enough to cover the iPhone 5S. He speculates the full-size iPad will be 20 percent lighter and thinner than the iPad 4, with a 7.5mm thin chassis and 500 gram weight, plus it’ll take on the iPad Mini’s slimmer bezel. Both models could be in-line for a 64-bit processor, with the iPad getting a revised A7X chip. The iPad Mini 2’s screen may have a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, taking it to Retina status, and finally, the iPad’s rear camera may get a larger aperture and a boost to 8-megapixels.
Anyone hoping for a gold iPad may be disappointed, as Kuo reckons Apple faces the same production challenges it does with the Touch ID, so the color scheme could be kept as an iPhone 5S exclusive.
Wireless charging is a remote possibility
If you’re looking for a more exciting rumor, Apple Insider’s suggestion that the smart cover could support wireless charging for the iPad 5 is something to get your teeth into. This rumor is based on an Apple patent entitled “Integrated inductive charging in protective cover,” which describes an iPad cover with a battery that would wirelessly charge the iPad every time you close it. Of course, the cover itself would still need to be charged.
Chasing the Galaxy? Stylus and gestures
We’ve seen a few rumors suggest that the iPad 5 will have a stylus and that it will support smart gestures like those on Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S4. The Galaxy Note line has been a big hit for Samsung and it includes the S-Pen stylus, which offers some handy functionality. We can’t find any reliable corroboration for these rumors and it seems unlikely that Apple would go in this direction with the iPad 5.
A rumor from Japanese blog, Macotakara, is suggesting that the iPad 5 will have a second, rear-facing microphone, like the iPhone 5. This is something which was apparently prototyped in the iPad Mini, but dropped before the final version.
What will it cost?
It would be a shock if Apple changes its pricing. It usually drops the price of the last iteration and the new release goes in at the same price points. If that’s the case, then the iPad 5 will start at $500 for the 16GB version and go up to $800 for the 128GB version.
That’s it for now, but if you want to share any other iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 rumors, please post a comment. We’ll bring you full details of the new iPad as soon as they’re official.
Updated on 10-15-2013 by Jeffrey Van Camp: Apple has sent out official invites for its Oct. 22 event. It’s a go!
Updated on 10-10-2013 by Jeffrey Van Camp: Added all the new rumors from August, September, and early October. We now think that a Retina iPad Mini, 64-bit processor, and Oct 22 date are likely, among other things.
Updated on 8/15/2013 by Simon Hill: Tweaked release date, added links to photos and video supposedly of case and screen, and added sections on the bigger screen rumor, and the fingerprint sensor rumor.
Article originally published on 5-30-2013.
(Image credit: SonnyDickson.com)