iPad 4 vs. iPad 5 (Rumored)

While the iPad 4 may be Apple’s flagship full sized iPad at the moment, rumors suggest that the device is likely going to be replaced in just a few short days with Apple all but confirmed to be hosting an October 22nd launch event. The launch event figures to be the launching pad for the company’s fifth-generation iPad, an iPad 5, a device that consumers are likely weighing against several options, including the iPad 4.

Last year, iPad launched not one, but two new full sized iPads. In March, it was the iPad 3, the first full sized iPad with a Retina Display and one that also delivered 4G LTE data to Apple customers for the first time. The device took the place of the iPad 2 which dropped down in price and offered consumers a cheaper alternative, though, without Retina Display.

In October, Apple hosted another event wherein the company showed off the iPad mini 2 but also the iPad 4, a fourth-generation iPad that replaced the iPad 3 completely and brought Sprint LTE, 128GB of storage, and a new processor to the table. It also unified Apple’s flagship devices with its Lightning dock standard, something that had arrived with the iPhone 5.

Apple did not replace the iPad 4 in March, skipping its usual iPad event in favor of an event later in the year, an event that appears to be just over the horizon. While Apple still hasn’t confirmed anything, it’s clear that October 22nd is the day that it will be hosting some type of launch event where the company will show off a host of new products including a new full sized iPad that is being called the iPad 5.

With October 22nd just a few short days away, consumers are likely taking a close look at both the iPad 5 rumors and the iPad 4, sizing them up ahead of the holiday shopping season. Here, ahead of the iPad 5 launch, we take a look at just how we expect the iPad 5 to stack up with the current fourth-generation iPad from Apple.

Release Date

iPad-5-photos-designApple still hasn’t sent out invites to its fall iPad event though we expect it to soon. Credible sources have centered on October 22nd as the launch date for the iPad 5, iPad mini 2 and OS X Mavericks and we fully expect that date to hold. And because we expect it to hold, we expect the iPad 5 release date to emerge within the next couple of weeks.

In the past, Apple has released its devices in and around two weeks after their initial announcements. Apple is a company that follows patterns and in the case of the iPad 5, it could be that it follows a pattern similar to the iPhone 5s and iPad 4 in that it pushes the device out onto shelves exactly 10 days after the announcement. At this point, consumers would be wise to circle November 1st, a Friday, on their calendar as it appears to be the most likely candidate for an iPad 5 release date.

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What’s unclear though is what iPad 5 launch and release will do to the iPad 4. For now, the iPad 4 is widely available. But in just a few days, it’s possible that it could be banished to the refurbished section of Apple’s Apple Store in favor of the iPad 5 and the iPad 2, the latter of which is currently on sale for $399. The fact that Apple kept the iPhone 4s around but discontinued to the iPhone 5 is a sign that it could be leaning in this direction for iPad.

On the other hand, it could be that the Retina-powered iPad 4 could be the one dropping down to $399 pushing the iPad 2 out. Apple loves to unify its products and with the Retina Display on the iPad 4, it does just that. Expect the company to retain two full-sized iPads in its arsenal and we would not bet against the iPad 4 dropping in price to compete with cheaper Android tablets.

Design

The iPad 4 kept the same design as the iPad 3. The iPad 5 is not expected to continue that trend as leaks and rumors point to a redesigned iPad 5 that should help to make the device more portable than ever.

Apple’s iPad 3 was beefed up a little bit from the iPad 2, adding on a few millimeters due to the Retina Display on board. The company simply needed to install a larger battery so that it could keep fantastic battery life on board. Apple’s slates are known for their high quality battery life. The company kept the design intact with the iPad 4 as it featured the same 9.4mm and 652 gram frame as its predecessor.

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The iPad 5 figures to have a different design than both the iPad 4 and the iPad 3. Leaks point to a vastly different form factor and one that borrows heavily from the iPad mini. The back shell of the iPad 5 looks like it will use the same anodized aluminum as the iPad mini and iPhone 5s. This isn’t confirmed, but given the amount of leaks, it’s likely.

In the front, the device is thought to have thinner bezels, another characteristic it steals from the iPad mini and one that allows Apple to pack the same size screen into a smaller package. Overall, the device is thought to be smaller, thinner and lighter than the iPad 4, something that will make it more portable than the fourth-generation slate.

Leaked schematics from case makers suggest that the iPad 5 will cut 15 millimeters off of the width of the iPad. Furthermore, it appears that the device will measure in at, or around, 7.5mm thin, far different from the 9.4mm iPad 4.

Display

The iPad 3 ushered in the era of the 9.7-inch Retina Display, a display that the iPad 4 had on board as well. At the moment, there is nothing to suggest that the iPad 5 will feature anything other than a 9.7-inch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. That’s not a bad thing though as the iPad’s Retina Display is still fantastic for viewing content.

Specs

iPad-Mini-iphone-ipad--575x439As for specifications, it should come as no surprise that Apple is apparently going to be beefing up the specifications inside the iPad 5. Rumors suggest that it will have a A7 processor with 64-bit support, something that should help to improve performance. The iPad 4 uses the A6X chip, which is powerful, but won’t be able to touch the prowess of Apple’s new processor.

There are also rumors that suggest a brand new camera. The company is thought to be shifting to a 8MP rear camera, up from the 5MP camera found on the iPad 4, and something that could help produce better looking photos and videos for those that feel comfortable using their full sized table as a mobile camera.

iPad 5 rumors have also suggested that the device could come armed with a fingerprint reader for added security though that feature has been disputed and is currently up in the air. Whatever the case, expect the iPad 5 to deliver better performance the iPad 4 across the board.

Software

Last month, Apple updated several of its older devices with iOS 7, the company’s latest iOS update, and one that overhauls the look of the company’s mobile operating system. It also comes with a number of new features for iPhone and iPad owners. The iPad 4 was fortunate enough to not only get the update, but also receive most of the features on board. The only feature that it’s missing are the filters found inside of the camera application.

The iPad 5 will be most certainly be running iOS 7 out of the box as new Apple products typically run the latest version of iOS when they first arrive. In other words, there is a zero percent chance that iOS 6 will be on board. There is a chance that the software on board the iPad 5 could be different than the software on the iPad 4 though.

Rumors suggest an A7 processor and a new camera. There are also rumors that claim that the device will have a fingerprint sensor on board like the iPhone 5s. If those are true, we could see the device feature some souped up camera software including slow motion video and we could also see TouchID functionality (fingerprint sensor) on board as well. Those aren’t a given though so at the very least, expect the iPad 5 to have the same exact iOS 7 software features as the iPad 4.

Carriers

Apple products do not leak out through the FCC ahead of schedule so we still don’t have any confirmation about where the device will be heading when it comes to carriers. That said, it’s fairly easy to make some educated guesses about its destination, based on the iPad’s history and based on the current climate of the iPhone.

Last year, we saw the iPad 4 emerge on the LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, all of which carried the iPhone 5. This year, it’s reasonable to think that there will be support for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, which starting offering the iPhone for the first time earlier this year and launched the iPhone 5s alongside its competitors.

At the very least, there will be AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and we will, of course, see an iPad 5 that works in conjunction with their 4G LTE networks. Given that the iPhone 5s doesn’t support LTE-Advanced, it’s hard to imagine that Apple will pull a fast one and offer support for the faster LTE network on the iPad 5. Stranger things have happened though.

Price

We haven’t seen anything credible leak out just yet in regard to the price of the iPad 5 though those leaks typically don’t spring until a day or two before the actual event, meaning, we could see something just prior to October 22nd. That said, we don’t expect any drastic changes to Apple’s current iPad pricing scheme.

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The company has kept the $499 starting price intact for several years now, despite continually upgrading the full sized iPad with hardware and software upgrades. So, it would be shocking to see Apple shift away from this starting price point, even with all of the bells and whistles rumored to be on board the new version.

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