Apple hasn’t sent out invitations to its iPad event just yet but it’s clear that the company will be hosting an event on October 22nd wherein the company will show off its brand new iPad lineup. One of those iPads is expected to be an iPad fifth-generation, an iPad 5, and here, ahead of its event, we take a look at what to expect from its release date.
For weeks now, we’ve heard a great deal about Apple’s plans for the fall with rumors suggesting that Tim Cook was not lying when he said the company had fantastic products in the pipeline for the fall and beyond. And finally, after weeks and weeks of rumors, we finally have an event date for these product announcements.
Yesterday, AllThingsD and The Loop confirmed October 22nd as the date on which Apple will host its fall event. The company hasn’t sent out invitations for it just yet but it’s only a matter of time. What this means is that we finally have a concrete date for Apple’s final announcements for 2013 which are said to include iPads, new software and more.
Rumors suggest that the company will unfurl a number of new products, among them the new Mac Pro that it introduced at WWDC, OS X Mavericks that was also shown off at WWDC, new MacBook Pros with increased battery life, and two new iPads in the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5 which figure to be the stars of the show.
In particular, there is likely to be great interest in the iPad 5 as rumors point to a heavy redesign that will borrow heavily from the iPad mini. The redesign figures to slim the device down and make it lighter, something that should make it more portable than the iPad 4 and make it an attractive alternative to the smaller, and cheaper, iPad mini 2.
Prospective iPad 5 buyers now have a launch date, though, they don’t yet have a release date. Here, we take a look at what to expect from the iPad 5 release date before it arrives in just a few weeks.
iPad 5 Release Date Around November 1st
Now that the iPad 5 launch date is etched in stone, we can now easily predict the iPad 5 release date. Apple tends to follow a pattern in which it announces new devices and offers up a release date within two weeks. With the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, we saw 10 days go by before the products were released on shelves. In the case of the iPad mini and iPad 4, it was 11 days. This is something that Apple has done time and time again and there is no reason to believe that it will ditch this with the iPad 5.
What this means is that buyers can expect a release date around November 1st which falls on a Friday and is exactly 10 days after the iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 launch event. Apple likes to launch products on Friday so it could be that these appear on shelves that day. Fortunately, Apple will confirm a date at its launch event and buyers should expect it to be in and around November 1st, ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Last year, Apple took pre-orders for both the iPad mini and the iPad 4. It kept them in-house, however. Oddly enough, the carrier did not offer iPhone 5s pre-orders but did take early orders for its $99 iPhone, the iPhone 5c. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all took pre-orders for the iPhone 5c. So this makes things hard to predict when it comes to the iPad 5.
Because Apple’s history is littered with pre-orders, the iPhone 5s being an anomaly, buyers should expect a pre-order for the iPad 5 at least. The iPad mini 2 is rumored to have supply issues, rumors that also afflicted the iPhone 5s prior to its launch, so it could be that Apple offers up pre-orders for the iPad 5 and not the iPad mini 2. It’s not clear at this point and likely won’t be until Apple takes the stage and releases official information. However, if we had to guess, we think that Apple will follow protocol with the iPad 5 and give buyers a chance to purchase one early.
Orders Starting at Midnight
If Apple offers pre-orders for the iPad 5, they will start at midnight through the Apple website. Carrier websites and retailers are a little more suspect given that the company handled pre-orders in-house last year. If the company skips a pre-order and decides to simply release the device on its actual release date, orders will also start at midnight.
This is standard for Apple and it’s something that should be expected by those looking into buying the iPad 5 as soon as it comes out. Buyers who want the iPad 5 as soon as possible, or simply don’t want to head into stores on release day, need to start preparing to stay up until 12AM PST or 3AM EST as the initial rush has the potental to wipe out much of Apple’s initial stock.
Lines on Release Day
Those who do skip the late night orders should expect lines on release day. Last year’s iPad 4 and iPad mini launch were quieter than usual but that can be attributed to two things at least. The first, the fact that the iPad mini did not come with a Retina Display, something that likely drove many buyers away. It still sold well, but not as well as it would have with a Retina Display on board. The second, the iPad 3 was released in March of the same year, something that pushed yearly upgraders and others away.
This year, we expect there to be lines. The iPad mini 2 is likely going to have a Retina Display, something that should only increase demand and the iPad 5’s redesign has the potential to lure many buyers to the full-sized iPad. So we certainly expect more foot traffic at Apple Stores this time around. Expect lines to be even longer if Apple decides to kill off pre-orders.
Minor Sell Out
Buyers should expect there to be good demand for the iPad 5, especially if it comes with a new processor, camera, redesign and a fingerprint reader for added security. Rumors have not, however, suggested supply issues for the iPad 5. And with the iPad mini 2 likely the star of the show, it’s hard to think that the iPad 5 will be in short supply on its release date.
We do expect some models to sell out but we don’t expect the device to sell out across the board. There is the potential for that to happen with the iPad mini 2, but we expect the iPad 5 to only experience a minor sell out once Apple puts it on sale. What this means is that buyers who want or need a specific model will need to think about ordering as early as possible.