By Jim Karpen on Mon, 01/28/2013
So far the rumors have been pretty sketchy, but now some websites with industry sources and a good track record are reporting details on new iPads and iPhones, even including a photo on iLounge of a model of a new iPad 5. Jeremy Horwitz, editor-in-chief at iLounge, had the opportunity to inspect a model of the new iPad and gives a detailed description of it. He says that it's smaller than seems possible, with a 9.7-inch screen and almost no bezel around the edges, with just enough bezel at top and bottom to accommodate the front-facing camera and home button. It's much slimmer too. He characterizes it as a "stretched iPad mini," in that it has the same sort of edges and curvature, and says the it's smaller than the current iPad in every respect, except that it retains a 9.7-inch display.
He speculates that the thinner size will be achieved through the use of an IGZO display, and I, too, think this is likely. IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc, oxide) is now ready for prime time, and is superior in every respect, with greater sharpness and requiring as much as 90% less power. The photo accompanying this post shows the model atop a current iPad, giving a sense for how much smaller it will be. This svelte form factor will likely be a key marketing point. Jeremy says that the iPad 5 will most likely appear in October, and that seems much more believable than those rumors that are suggesting March.
But that doesn't mean we might not be seeing a new iPad model anytime soon. A tidbit today that has blogs buzzing is that the beta of iOS 6.1 that's now in the hands of developers makes reference to a 128GB iPad. And just as the blogs were reporting this discovery first posted on iDownLoadBlog, the website 9To5Mac reported that Apple is readying a new fourth-generation 128GB "Ultimate" iPad that will be sold for $799 for WiFi only and $929 for the model with cellular data.
Other details in the iLounge report confirm some of the recent rumors. Apple is expected to release an iPhone 5S that will be pretty much the same as the iPhone 5 in terms of form factor. It will supposedly have a larger rear flash. Indications continue to be that it will appear in June, and one rumor suggested that it will have a 13-megapixel camera and a fingerprint scanner. iLounge says its sources also confirm that Apple will be coming out with a low-cost iPhone with a plastic body that will be intended for the China market. This makes sense, especially given Apple's atypical response to the earlier rumor in this regard.
iLounge says that a 4.7-inch iPhone is in the prototyping stage but won't appear in 2013. (Keep in mind that many Apple prototypes are never brought to market.)