In just a few short days, Apple will unveil two new iPads in the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5. The devices are set to replace the current iPad mini and the iPad 4 as the company’s flagship iPad options for this holiday season and beyond. And while most consumers will be weighing the iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 against each other, some may find themselves weighing older models against newer ones.
For most of 2013, we’ve heard rumors about two new iPads, an iPad 5 that will replace Apple’s fourth-generation slate and an iPad mini 2 that will take over for the current iPad mini that arrived alongside the iPad 4 back in October of last year. Rumors have painted a fairly clear picture of both devices ahead of time so it was only a matter of waiting for a ready signal from Apple.
Earlier this week, Apple finally confirmed that it was ready to show off its new products, sending out invites to an event that is set to take place on October 22nd in San Francisco. The company did not say what it will be announcing only that it still has some announcements up its sleeve. Rumors point to OS X Mavericks finally getting a release date and pricing, the Mac Pro getting its release date and pricing and new MacBook Pros that could replace the company’s current models.
The spotlight of the show will likely be shone on two devices though, the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5, both of which should be out before the start of the holiday shopping season. Many consumers, in the build up to the event, are likely weighing their options. And while most may be comparing the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5 together, there are others that are thinking a bit differently.
Here, we appeal to those people and take a look at how the iPad 5 may stack up against the current iPad mini, a device that could potentially remain on sale as the company’s budget tablet option.
In October of last year, Apple finally confirmed a smaller iPad, releasing the iPad mini into the wild a few weeks later in November 2nd. Since then, the device has been a staple at Apple and one of the best options for those looking into a portable tablet. In just a few days, Apple will announce an iPad mini 2, a device that will replace the iPad mini as the company’s flagship and a device that will have untold effects on the current model.
Typically, Apple keeps an older model around by dropping its price. We’ve seen it with the iPad in the iPad 2 and we’ve seen it with the iPhone with the iPhone 4s currently on sale for free. So it’s possible that the iPad mini will simply drop in price and join the iPad mini 2 on shelves. It’s also possible that it will be pushed out completely. Whatever the case, it will likely still be available, refurbished, at Apple, making it a choice for consumers not looking to spend a ton of cash.
The iPad 5 on the other hand is coming to push another model out, that model being the iPad 4. The iPad 5, which will launch on October 22nd, should replace the iPad 4 just as soon as the company’s announces it. We expect the iPad 5 to be released in and around November 1st, a Friday, which means that it should start battling for consumer attention in just a few weeks.
Again, it’s possible that it will reside on the Apple Store alongside the current iPad mini, something that will give the latter a little more clout amongst consumers.
Unless iPad 5 leaks are off, Apple will be releasing a redesigned iPad 5 that borrows heavily from the iPad mini design. Leaks point to the device sporting a similar anodized aluminum back and a form factor that offers thin bezels, just like the iPad mini does. The overall design appears to be much more compact as well as rumors suggest that Apple will be chopping off from the height and width of the device.
Current rumors suggest that the iPad 5 could shed 15 millimeters off of the width of the iPad 4 They also point to a form factor measuring in and around, 7.5mm thin, far different from the 9.4mm iPad 4. While the iPad 5 will still be bigger than the iPad mini, the design changes should help to make it a much easier product to lug around to the office, on a commute or to class.
The current iPad mini is of course smaller than the current iPad 4 and it should be smaller than the iPad 5 as well. The above photo offers a possible look at the size difference between the two. Apple’s smaller iPad is 7.2mm thin, which would be thinner than the iPad 5. It also weights 308 grams which would likely be lighter than anything that the Apple can offer with a full-sized iPad.
So while the iPad 5 will certainly be more portable, it still won’t be able to compare with the design of the current iPad mini.
At this point, iPad 5 rumors have not suggested any changes to the display. Next year appears to be the year that Apple makes some serious display changes to the iPad, not this year. Instead, the iPad 5 should have the same 9.7-inch Retina Display with 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. The screen produces fantastic looking video, text, images and more and it’s still able to compete with the best Android tablets available.
Unfortunately, this is an area where the iPad 5 should pull away from the iPad mini. While the iPad mini 2 is expected to feature a 7.9-inch Retina Display, the iPad mini does not feature a Retina Display and instead uses a screen that sports 1024 x 768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch. Content still looks good on the current iPad mini but it’s simply not going to stack up next to the Retina Display.
Apple has historically upgraded its new devices with new hardware and rumors point to the iPad 5 getting some serious hardware upgrades. Rumors point to a new 8MP camera that could bring it closer to the iPhone in terms of quality. More importantly, the device should be coming with a new A7 processor that supports 64-bit, something that could help push performance.
Because the company typically keeps its storage options the same year after year, we expect the iPad 5 to come in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB form, just like the iPad 4. There haven’t been any rumors suggesting any kind of a change so consumers shouldn’t expect Apple to make any drastic changes to the full-sized storage options.
As for the iPad mini, it will likely feel the sting of the iPad 5′s performance. Unless Apple upgrades some of its hardware, it will come with a decent 5MP camera and an aging dual-core Apple A5 chip. The device is still good for gaming and still sports solid battery life but overall, we expect the iPad 5 to be quicker and more efficient.
The storage options are a little harder to predict. If Apple keeps the iPad mini around, it may drop to 16GB and 16GB only. Apple usually keeps one storage option around and unfortunately, it’s usually the smallest option.
The iPad mini was recently updated with iOS 7, Apple’s latest version of iOS, and one that delivered a new look and new features to owners of Apple’s older devices. iPad mini owners received a fairly bulky iOS 7 update with only the filters in photos feature being left out. iOS 7 is arguably the best iOS update to date and it’s one that is far different than iOS 6 or any update before it.
It’s also the software that should be running stock on the iPad 5. Apple typically releases devices with its latest update installed out of the box. In other words, iOS 6 won’t be on board. The iPad 5 should be running a fully stocked version of iOS 7 though there is a chance that it could come with some of the software features unique to the iPhone 5s.
If the iPad 5 includes TouchID, Apple’s fingerprint reader, there will be functionality baked into iOS 7. It could also get some of the camera features including slow motion video, a feature that is currently only available on the iPhone 5s. At the very least though, the iPad 5 will have the same functionality as Apple’s original iPad mini.
The iPad 5 is almost certainly going to be coming to the same carriers that the iPad mini currently supports. The iPad mini currently has support for the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and there is little chance that the iPad 5 misses any of those 4G LTE networks. We usually don’t see Apple products appear at the FCC ahead of their release so it’s possible that things could change, but, it would be shocking.
There is also a solid chance that the iPad 5 could be heading to T-Mobile, a carrier that recently picked up the iPhone and could very well be picking up the iPad in an official way this year. So, we expect the carrier options to be fairly similar for both devices, offering consumers the pick of the litter when it comes to cellular data.
There is little doubt that the iPad 5 price will be far more expensive than the current iPad mini. For one, the larger iPad models are always more expensive and second, the iPad mini is about to be replaced while the iPad 5 will be doing the replacing.
We expect Apple to keep its $499 starting price tag around for the iPad 5. It’s a price that has remained static throughout the years and there is no sign that the company will make any drastic changes to the price point. Consumers should also expect the iPad 5 LTE to start at the familiar $630 price point with no changes made to the other models.
The iPad mini, if it sticks around, will obviously be much cheaper. We have discussed a possible price drop down from the current $330 starting price to around $270 or a $50 price difference. This would match up with the price of the refurbished iPad minis that populate Apple’s online store at the moment. It could be that Apple knocks the price down ever further than that, possibly in an attempt to take away the Nexus 7′s cheap price point but at the moment, it’s unclear.
What is clear is that anyone weighing the iPad 5 and the non-Retina iPad mini will certainly be shelling out more for the smaller device come October, November and beyond.