Rumor has it, Apple is going to be releasing a couple of two iPads ahead of the holidays. One, a follow up to its successful iPad mini in the form of an iPad mini 2. The other an iPad 5, a successor to the iPad 4 and a device that will likely be coming with a number of improvements. Ahead of the iPad 5 launch date, it’s time to take a closer look not at the iPad 5 itself, but at its launch.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were heavily rumored ahead of their September 10th launch, though as many know, they weren’t the only new Apple products circling around in the rumor mill. Apple, year-after-year, has not only released a new iPhone but it has also delivered a new iPad or two to those in the market for a new slate.
Last year, the iPad mini and the iPad 4 joined the iPhone 5 on shelves ahead of the holidays and this year, it looks like Apple will be pairing a new iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 with the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
The iPad mini 2 is expected to boast a Retina Display, something that the original did not have, while the iPad 5 is rumored to have a brand new design to go along with suspected hardware upgrades. While many consumers will be interested in the smaller iPad, there will likely be a great deal of interest in the iPad 5 as well, especially if Apple does what it’s expected to do.
Rumors suggest that the device will feature an iPad mini-like design with thinner bezels and an anodized aluminum back. Leaks also point to a design that is both slimmer and lightweight than the iPad 4, something that could make it far more portable.
With these improvements in mind, buyers are likely wondering about an iPad 5 launch. Ahead of an Apple invitation and a concrete iPad 5 launch date, it’s time to take a look at what we expect from an iPad 5 launch date when it finally does arrive.
iPad 5 Launch in October
Apple still hasn’t sent out media invites and it’s still not clear when it will. Rumors suggest that the iPad 5 launch could take place on October 15th, though that remains unconfirmed. Last year, Apple introduced the iPad mini and the iPad 4 on October 23rd. And while the date could change, we expect the iPad 5 launch to take place during the month of October for a few different reasons.
First, we saw the iPad mini and the iPad 4 launch in October of last year and hit shelves in early November ahead of the holidays and Black Friday. We saw the iPhone 5s launch and release come close to the iPhone 5 dates and so it’s likely that Apple will do something similar with its new iPads. Apple doesn’t always follow a yearly cycle but in this case, we think it will.
Why? Well, because of the holidays, because of Black Friday, because it doesn’t want Google’s or Amazon’s new tablets to have any kind of advantage. It will want the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2 to be out in time for the shopping season and out in time to crush their opposition. By announcing in October, Apple can get them out ahead of the holiday and try and get supply issues under control before the end of the year. A November launch and a mid-to-late November release is likely going to be too close for comfort.
Finally, just about every single iPad 5 rumor has pointed to October and with all of the leaks that have emerged, we know that a launch is close. Expect it to take place in October.
Way to Watch the Event Live
Apple didn’t host a live stream for its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch event. The company did not explain why and we aren’t likely going to get an explanation. So it’s difficult to predict whether the company will be offering a live stream for the iPad 5 event or not. If we had to guess, we’d say that there will be one given that Apple wants to appeal to a high volume of shoppers. By broadcasting live, it can get its message out loud and clear ahead of the holidays.
Even there isn’t a live stream, there will be ways to watch the event “live.” Live blogs will cover the action from the ground floor, delivering play-by-plays of the events that unfold at Apple’s launch. They aren’t going to be as good as a live stream but they will still be a fairly nice consolation prize.
Lots of iPad Talk
We expect Apple to talk quite a bit about the successes of the full-sized iPad and the iPad mini. The iPad mini reportedly outsold the iPad after it was launched and we could see Apple talk quite a bit about its total dominance in the tablet market.
With Amazon and Google bringing tablets to the table this fall, we might also see Apple take some shots at the competition in an attempt to sway the minds of those looking at devices like the new Kindles.
We also expect Apple to engage in some talk about the success of the iPad in both the enterprise and the education sectors. With LA School Districts plan to put 30,000 iPads in the hands of its students, and that plan going a bit awry, Apple will want to instill confidence in its buyers and we expect it to tout the benefits and successes of its tablet in real world situations.
Two New iPads
Expect the iPad 5 to be joined by another iPad, the iPad mini 2. The devices will replace the iPad 4 and the iPad mini as the company’s flagship devices while the iPad 4 and the iPad mini could, perhaps, drop down in price and appeal to those that don’t want to spend $499 or $330.
Right now, Apple sells the iPad 2 without Retina Display for $399 and we could potentially see the iPad 4 drop to that $399 price point. There is no precedent for the iPad mini due to it being the first product of its kind so it’s difficult to say what Apple might do with it. It’s possible that it may just replace the device completely though Apple has a habit of keeping old devices around to compete against budget products.
At the very least, expect two new iPads this year, and expect them to be the stars of the show.
iPad 5 Release Date
Apple always delivers releases dates at its product launches so there is no reason to think that the company will fail to deliver a concrete release date for the iPad 5. We fully expect the iPad 5 release date to be on hand when the device arrives later on this year and typically, the release date lands just a few days after the announcement.
Last year, we saw the new iPads get announced on October 23rd with a release date of November 2nd. This is similar to the distance between this year’s iPhone 5s launch date and release date and similar to all Apple product launches and releases.
So, if Apple announces an iPad 5 in mid-October, we’d expect it to arrive in late October. If the company announces the device in late October, we’d expect a release date in early November. Either way, a release date is likely very close.
iPad 5 Pricing
In addition to the release date, Apple always announces official pricing at its launch events. We fully expect the company to announce iPad 5 pricing later on this month at its launch event and we fully expect the pricing to remain unchanged from the iPad 4 pricing.
Apple has shown a willingness to keep pricing the same, year-after-year, so there is no reason to believe that a redesigned and upgraded iPad 5 will any more expensive than the iPad 4. If that’s the case, here is how it should break down:
- iPad 5 16GB – $499
- iPad 5 32GB – $599
- iPad 5 64GB – $699
- iPad 5 128GB – $799
- iPad 5 LTE 16GB – $629
- iPad 5 LTE 32GB – $729
- iPad 5 LTE 64GB – $829
- iPad 5 LTE – 128GB – $929
Apple did not offer pre-orders for the iPhone 5s though we expect it to offer pre-orders for the iPad 5 and quite possibly, the iPad mini 2 as well. There are rumors that indicate that the iPad mini 2 could be in short supply like the iPhone 5s, thanks to its new Retina Display. If that’s the case, it could be that Apple skips a pre-order for it like it did with the iPhone 5s.
The iPad 5 though should get a pre-order as we expect iPad mini 2 demand to be much higher. We’ve also seen iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2 pre-orders in the past so it would be extremely strange for Apple not to offer a pre-order for its large model this time around.
Announcements and leaks have left no stone unturned ahead of the iPad 5 launch event and that means that we shouldn’t see surprises. Apple still owes Mac users an OS X Mavericks release date and rumors suggest that it will arrive at the iPad event ahead. New MacBook Pros are heavily rumored for arrival alongside OS X Mavericks and if they are real, Apple will surely announce them with the iPads.
We also know that the company is planning on delivering a new high-powered Mac Pro, it announced it at WWDC but did not attach a release date. We expect a release date to arrive with the iPads.
And finally, we could see Apple announce iOS 7.1, an update that is rumored to be coming along with the iPads and one that could potentially bring new features and some fixes along with it.