A new report claims Apple is ready to take the iPad 5 to production in August and is ready to call a halt on any changes to the iPad 5 specs as production nears. Additional reports claim the company is planning to announce the iPad 5 at an event in September.
Apple typically announces new products several weeks ahead of a release, which would put the iPad 5 release in September or very early October if these rumors are true.
The iPad 4 launched in October 2012 with minimal upgrades, and rumors point to a new iPad 5 tablet that will deliver a new look and new features to iPad owners sometime near the iOS 7 release this fall.
Thanks to a holiday iPad release in 2012 Apple knows the financial benefit of selling a new iPad in time for Christmas and holiday shopping, and the company is likely to mirror the success in 2013 with the iPad 5.
According to Mobile China Union, Apple is preparing the iPad 5 production to start in August, reaching volume production. This would allow Apple to shift the iPad 5 release date around without major gaps in inventory associated with a new iPad release. This report does not include any iPad 5 specs, but another leak sheds some light.
This rumor pairs with new chatter form Apple suppliers regarding better iPad 5 battery, a September launch and suppliers that are ready to deliver enough components to meet projected iPad 5 release day demands.
This set of rumors comes from DigiTimes which shares supply chain chatter and gossip. While the publication is not always spot on, it does deliver a fast track to insider news and this rumor lines up with others. DigiTimes claims,
Since upstream suppliers have mostly finished preparing for the production of the new 9.7-inch iPad, there is unlikely to be any changes in terms of specifications for the device
This is statement doesn’t claim there will be no new iPad 5 specification changes from the iPad 4, but that suppliers believe Apple has locked in on a set of specifications for the iPad 5 as it enters production.
According to earlier rumors the iPad 5 specs could include,
- 7.5-8.0mm – 15% thinner than the iPad 4
- 500 grams – 25% lighter than the iPad 4
- 9.7-inch display with GF2 touch technology from the iPad mini
- Apple A7X processor
- 5MP rear camera, HD front camera, similar to the iPad 4
- Design similar to the iPad mini
- 8,500-9,000mAh battery – 25 to 30% smaller than the iPad 4
These specs come from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities who has a good track record for Apple supply chain rumors.
DigiTimes sources also point to a new iPad mini inspired design which numerous leaks back up with photos and schematics used by case manufacturers. Inside, the iPad 5 will reportedly use a single LED tube which plays into better iPad 5 battery life. The iPad already offers a realistic 10 hours of battery life, but these changes could help Apple push battery life farther as it did in the new MacBook Air model or could simply keep the 10 hour mark with a smaller battery.
According to these supply chain sources Apple is planning to announce the iPad 5 in September. Previously the iPad 5 release rumors pointed to an October release with a launch event separate from the rumored iPhone 5S launch.
It is possible that Apple will have the stock on hand to announce a new iPad in September, but that the company will schedule a separate event for later in the year. This would allow Apple to focus on the iPhone at an event in September and deliver an iPad specific event later in the year, with plenty of stock on hand to prevent iPad 5 shortages through the holidays.