iPad 5 Release Date & Rumor Roundup

The iPad 5 is the center of attention for tablet shoppers looking to pick up the latest Apple product, especially as the nearly standard Spring iPad release cycle passes by without an Apple event for the first time in years.

The iPad 5 is the name many are using to describe the next iPad, even though Apple switched to the iPad with Retina Display naming convention in October of last year when the company announced the current iPad. The iPad on store shelves is still called the iPad 4 by many shoppers, likely thanks to the inclusion of the iPad 2 on Apple’s website and the iPad 3rd and iPad 4th generation names recently used.

Whatever Apple decides to call the next iPad, shoppers will surely call it the iPad 5 whenever the release rolls around.

We’ve heard that the iPad 5 release will coincide with an iPad mini 2 release, but that is just a rumor at this point. For the most part the rumors focus on a new design and the actual announcement date. Many users consider the iPad 4 similar to an iPhone 5S style update — one that adds a few new features, but it was not a full-fledged new iPad. Based on this, a good number of Gotta Be Mobile staff, and regular users, did not upgrade to the iPad 4 and are instead waiting for the iPad 5 to come out.

The iPad 5 could look much more like the iPad mini, with thinner bezels and a thinner design.

The iPad 5 could look much more like the iPad mini, with thinner bezels and a thinner design.

The first iPad 5 rumors didn’t arrive as swiftly as those for the iPhone 5S, but we’ve heard about a possible iPad 5 as early as January. Though there is increased competition in the tablet space, the iPad 5 is likely to enter a market without a Galaxy S4-style competitor giving chase.

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Here, we take a look at alleged iPad 5 photos, cases and iPad 5 release date rumors. These rumors come from analysts, supply chain sources and third-party case manufacturers. For those looking to buy the iPad 5, these rumors paint a picture of what to expect and possibly when they are able to head to the Apple store to buy the iPad 5.

iPad 5 Release Date

Many iPad 5 release dates are rumored.

Many iPad 5 release dates are rumored.

The iPad 5 release date is rumored for every almost every month between now and October. In fact, the only month without a rumored iPad 5 release date is May.

The earliest iPad 5 release rumor points to April and comes from Apple analyst Gene Munster. Rather than proof or supply chain rumblings, Munster thinks we will see an iPad 5 release in April simply because Apple typically releases the iPad in spring. Picking an iPad 5 release six months after the iPad 4 release, based on dates alone isn’t enough for us to start planning for an Apple event in April.

In early March, iMore claimed sources are pointing to an iPad 5 release in April, alongside an iPad mini 2. In this rumor the iPad mini 2 does not get a new Retina display. Despite the lack of an invite at the end of March and rumors of a later iPad 5 release, iMore is the first credible rumor for April.

We heard about a June iPad 5 release date from a case maker who shared an iPad 5 case designed on the leaked specs. This would line up with a rumored iPhone 5S release in June and with possible WWDC 2013 dates, but the tipster later told us the source is not certain of the date.

We also heard that Apple is planning a major iPad 5 and iPhone 5S launch event on June 29th, but there are too many holes and unknowns in this leak to believe Apple is planning a Saturday launch event.

From here we land on a pair of rumors that point to a fall iPad 5 release date. The first iPad 5 release rumor for August comes by way of CNYes, a Chinese publication that claims Apple suppliers are prepping for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 in the fall. Another rumor, comes from DigiTimes, claiming that Apple is cutting orders of the current generation iPad and iPad mini to prepare for the iPad 5 release in Q3.

An iPad 5 release timeline from KGI Securities.

An iPad 5 release timeline from KGI Securities.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his connections to the Apple supply chain, pegs the iPad 5 release in Q3 2013, near the iPhone 5S release and the iPad mini 2 release.

The latest iPad 5 release date rumor comes from iLounge, who believes the iPad 5 will not arrive until October 2013. iLounge is well-connected and typically shares well sourced rumors. This latest rumor also includes details about the iPad 5 display.

To sum it up, there are too many iPad 5 release date rumors to make an accurate guess, but an April release looks less likely, while a fall iPad 5 release is much easier to buy.

iPad 5 Display

There are rumors that the iPad 5 display will feature new technology, but users will likely see the biggest changes that come from a new display in the overall design of the iPad 5, and not while looking at the display.

An iPad 5 concept showing what the iPad 5 could look like next to the iPad 4.

An iPad 5 concept showing what the iPad 5 could look like next to the iPad 4.

Sharp is rumored to be on track to make an iPad 5 display with IGZO technology. iLounge points to a Sharp IGZO display in the iPad 5 which would help enable a thinner iPad without cutting the iPad 5 battery life down from Apple’s current 10 hour benchmark.

The video below shows off Sharp IGZO technology in action in a tablet at CES 2013. This technology can deliver a better on-screen writing technology, better touch responsiveness and more.

A second iPad 5 display rumor centers on a new touch panel. Apple introduced thin-film DITO (G/F2) touch screen technology in the iPad 2 and supply chain sources indicate it will soon make its way into the iPad 5. This technology helps Apple deliver an iPad 5 design that is thinner and lighter than the iPad 4, and would still be compatible with a Retina Display. As the video below shows, this touch panel works independent of the display.

One additional rumor is that Apple is looking to cut Samsung out of the display supply chain for the iPad 5. This is allegedly in response to the Samsung vs. Apple lawsuits from last year.

iPad 5 Design and Features

If rumors and leaked photos are on the money, the iPad 5 will feature a smaller, thinner design and weigh less than the iPad 4. Multiple iPad 5 rumors from early January point to an iPad 5 with the same design as the iPad mini.

iPad 5 vs iPad mini

The iPad mini vs. iPad 5 size comparison from purported iPad 5 back photos.

Designer Martin Hajek originally showed off an iPad 5 concept that borrows heavily from the iPad mini design, right down to the new edges and the thinner bezels around the display.

The iLounge source that points to an October release claimed the iPad 5 design would look similar to the iPad mini shortly after. Then, at the end of January we saw the first set of alleged iPad 5 back plates, which look just like a larger version of the iPad mini thanks to 9to5Mac.

This leak allowed us to determine that the back is for a narrower shorter iPad 5. Additional photos show the alleged iPad 5 back plate is nearly the same size as the iPad mini, which means the iPad 5 could be 20% thinner than the iPad 4 and iPad 3.

A rendering of the iPad 5 and iPad 4 showing a slight reduction in size.

A rendering of the iPad 5 and iPad 4 showing a slight reduction in size.

If this is how the iPad 5 looks, there is a good chance that users will need to buy new cases and accessories, and that the iPad 5 will be slightly more portable than the current 9.7-inch iPad.

iPad 5 Camera

The iPad 4 already delivered a large upgrade on the front facing camera, compared to the iPad 3, which makes FaceTime calls crystal clear even over 4G LTE. The image below shows what the new camera sensor is capable of while using FaceTime over 4G LTE, complete with stubble not visible on the iPad 3 camera.

An example of the camera improvements from iPad 3 to iPad 4.

An example of the camera improvements from iPad 3 to iPad 4.

With the iPad 5, we could also see Apple boosting the rear facing camera to 8MP. The company introduced minor improvements since adding the camera to the iPad 2, and despite the prevalence of smartphones, many users still turn to the iPad for photos and videos.

iPad 5 Specs

The iPad 5 rumor mill is short on specs of the actual device but there are some assumptions to be made based on other Apple rumors.

Here are some of the iPad 5 specs we could imagine in an iPad 5.

  • Apple A7 quad-core processor
  • 9.7-inch Retina Display (2048 x 1536)
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB storage options
  • 1-2GB RAM
  • WiFi + 4G LTE
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • 5-8MP rear facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Lightning Connector

Again, some of these specs are based on assumptions about Apple’s plans for an Apple A7 processor and hints from iPad mini upgrades.

iPad 5 Software – iOS 7

If the iPad 5 release is in April it will almost certainly launch with IOS 6.1.3 or a similar iOS 6.1 build. Whereas Apple typically releases the new iPhone with the latest version of iOS, Apple previously released iPads mid iOS life-cycle.

Watch: iOS 7 Concept Videos

If the iPad 5 release is set for later than June, we would expect it to launch with iOS 7 on board. While there are no firm iOS 7 features, Gotta Be Mobile offers up some ideas about what iOS 7 features Apple should include and there are a number of iOS 7 concepts that show possibilities.

The video below covers a new iOS 7 app switcher on the iPhone 5, but it could work just as well on the iPad 5.

There is talk of a killer iOS 7 feature for the iPhone 5S, which could potentially also land on the iPad 5.

Expect to hear news in April about an iOS 7 beta if Apple is planning a June iPhone 5S or iPad 5 event. Otherwise we’ll likely need to wait for WWDC 2013, which is rumored for June 10th.

No matter what software the iPad 5 runs, users may need to wait for an iOS 7 jailbreak or an iPad 5 jailbreak as iOS 6.1.3 is not compatible with the current version of Evasi0n.

iPad 5 Carriers

The iPad 5 will without a doubt come with WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular models, complete with 4G LTE connectivity. We expect the next iPad to arrive on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint on launch day, replacing the iPad 4 on each carrier.

Look for the iPad 5 on T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint with 4G LTE.

Look for the iPad 5 on T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint with 4G LTE.

Now that T-Mobile launched a 4G LTE network and the iPhone, there is hope for a T-Mobile iPad 5 with 4G LTE. This is definitely a possibility.

iPad 5 Price

The iPad 5 price is likely to remain unchanged, with a starting price at $499. Apple already offers a cheaper iPad mini. Even though the iPad mini 2 may replace it, expect a $329 cheaper iPad mini option to stay.

Possible breakdown of the iPad 5 price with LTE.

Possible breakdown of the iPad 5 price with LTE.

We may see a change in the iPad lineup that offers a Retina Display iPad for $399 in place of the iPad 2. Given the age of the device and Apple’s push towards Retina we may see the iPad 4 start at $399 right behind the iPad 5 at $499.

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With options expected up to 128GB, the iPad 5 price could range from $499 up to $929 for a 128GB LTE model.

Comments

  1. Tom Webb says

    Josh, don’t you think that Apple would keep around the original iPad mini, but drop its price? For example, sell the 16gb wifi model for, say, $249, while the Retina version would keep the current $329 price.

    A $250 iPad mini would undercut competitors and grab lots of buyers. Maybe $279 would be more realistic.

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