Though this headline could almost grace The Onion, the latest gossip suggests a lighter, thinner iPad will debut this year with mass production hitting its height from August to September. The information comes from a KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a history of accurate details on Apple’s upcoming products. The analyst recently published a research note saying he thinks August and September will bring a spike in mass production and shipments of iPads.
Kuo also thinks the full-sized tablet will be about 15 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than last year’s model. The size reduction would put it somewhere between 7.5 and 8mm thick, the iPad is currently 9.5mm thick. As for weight, Kuo expects the iPad to drop to about 500 grams.
Kuo expects Apple to pull off this more svelte look while packing in a more powerful A7X processor, but keeping the cameras mostly unchanged (rear 5-megapixels, front HD). The thinner bezel present introduced with the iPad Mini is expected to make the move to the full-sized tablet as well. The GF2 touch technology may also migrate from the iPad Mini, which will allow for a thinner display and lighter weight. A more efficient display and processing chip should lower power consumption as well, which means a thinner, smaller battery. Power efficiency could be so great the battery capacity may shrink by 25 to 30 percent, landing between 8,500 and 9,000mAh while keeping the current longevity.
The A7X processor thought to be powering the iPad 5 will still be made by Samsung, according to Kuo, and make good use of its 28-nanometer process node. This contradicts previous rumors that Apple would transition to a new company, Taiwan Semiconductors Manufacturing Company, but Kuo believes that will happen further down the line. It’s not clear if he means as early as 2014, but that’s what we’ve heard from other sources.
At this point, most of this is speculatory – even if it is rooted in solid research – but none of Kuo’s claims seem outlandish and he does have a decent rumor track record. If anything, the parts about the iPad 5 being thinner, lighter, and featuring a slimmed-down bezel seem the most likely, but we’ll find out soon enough.