A new report echoes claims of an iPad 5 release early this fall and an iPad mini 2 release that comes later in the year, possibly as late as November, but one that does arrive in time for the holiday shopping season.
According to leaks Apple is working on an iPad 5 that shares looks with the iPad mini, which would arrive with the same 9.7-inch Retina Display as the iPad 4, but would be significantly thinner and lighter. An iPad mini 2 is also reportedly in the works, possibly with a Retina Display and there is chatter about a cheaper iPad mini option.
Tim Cook teased the exciting product announcements this fall, and the way events are shaping up we expect an iPhone 5S launch event as early as September and a separate iPad 5 launch event as soon as October. The new rumor lines up with claims of iPad mini 2 Retina Display issues that could push a launch of the smaller tablet back to November.
iPad 5 Release & Rumors
A new DigiTimes report claims that new iPad production will start as early as July with a volume production to hit 5 million by the third quarter. DigiTimes reports industry chatter with mixed success, but this report lines up with past analyst notes and offers a plausible timeline for what will likely be the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 with Retina Display.
According to the report, the iPad 5 will use the same screen technology found in the iPad mini to cut the weight of the larger iPad by as much as 30% and will use the narrow bezel design of the iPad mini as a key component of the iPad 5′s new look. Industry sources claim the new iPad could hit sales of 8 million units or higher in the fourth quarter.
The mas production in the third quarter lines up with an analyst note from Citi which points to an October iPad 5 launch. Apple announced the iPad 4 on October 24th 2012, so we could see a return to the annual upgrade cycle for the full-size iPad.
The report claims Apple is pushing the iPad mini 2 release back to put the focus on the larger iPad, but this may also be due to production issues.
iPad mini 2 Retina Display Delays
There is also a lot of chatter about the iPad mini 2, a followup to the successful iPad mini Apple launched in 2012. It is possible that Apple is planning an iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display. Apple left a Retina Display off the first iPad mini, possibly due to price and hardware constraints.
DigiTimes reports sources tell the publication that;
“As for the second-generation iPad mini, some market watchers believe the delay is because 9.7-inch iPad sales were seriously impacted by iPad mini in 2012, and so to avoid the situation from happening again, Apple has turned its product focus for 2013 to the new 9.7-inch iPad.”
It is possible that any delay in a release of the iPad mini 2, from the iPad 5 launch, could be tied to production issues in ramping up the production of a smaller Retina Display for the tablet.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo talked about the possibility of an iPad mini 2 delay to November in a note shared with MacRumors in April. Kuo has a good track record on Apple rumors due to contacts in the supply chain. Kuo believes the iPad mini 2 will ship with a Retina Display.
While rumors of an iPad mini 2 with Retina Display being pushed to 2014 surfaced last month, the source later clarified that we could expect an iPad mini 2 with a higher resolution display in 2013.
If Apple chooses to announce the iPad mini 2 and an iPad at the same event we could see a repeat of 2012, where the full size iPad is available nearly immediately and the iPad mini 2 arrives later in the year. After very good holiday sales of new iPads in 2012, Apple is likely pushing hard to bring an iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 to retail locations before December.