By Jim Karpen on Fri, 01/11/2013
It's not a matter of if, but when. We know new iPads will be coming, and that the larger iPad will inevitably get thinner and lighter, and that the new iPad mini will probably have a faster chip and a higher resolution screen. The question is when. Apple had initially been on a March annual release cycle but then messed that up last fall by coming out with a new iPad with retina display that had the Lightning connector and a new chip. And then the iPad mini was released in November. Today's rumor is that we'll be seeing new models of both iPads in March. According to AppleInsider, a market analyst says that industry sources he talked to at CES said that March is the date, and that the larger iPad will get an update that will make it thinner and lighter. He also is saying that we'll see a new mini with a faster chip. But his sources didn't have anything to say about whether the mini would get a higher resolution screen.
My guess is that we'll see a thinner lighter 9.7-inch iPad in March. Apple really needs to make this change in order to stay competitive and have its device stand out. But in my mind, it's less urgent for the mini to get upgraded. It's hugely popular and is selling very well, including in China. I would think Apple could stick with the current model until summer or early fall.