By Jim Karpen on Wed, 09/18/2013
Now that the new iPhones have been launched, the rumor mill is gearing up for the iPad launch. Apple's previous introduction of new iPads was in October of 2012, so it seems very likely this year's iPad event will again be in October. A French website recently said that gossip indicates the date will be October 15. See the Google translation here. Whatever the date, it will be interesting to see what Apple announces. Quite a bit is known about the forthcoming fifth-generation iPad, but the next iteration of the iPad mini remains a mystery. And it's also a mystery whether the new iPads will incorporate some of the iPhone 5s features, such as Touch ID and the M7 chip.
Thanks to quite a few leaked photos, it's clear the fifth-generation iPad will have a different form factor. It's expected to be thinner, lighter, and narrower. It's overall shape will be like that of the iPad mini, including narrower bezels on left and right. Although the device will be narrower, it will still have a 9.7-inch display. A number of rumors have said the new iPad will have an IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc, oxide) display, which will be big news. This new technology offers a better quality image, yet takes up to 90% less energy. That means the battery can be smaller and lighter, yet still offer greater battery life than before.
You can see videos of the casings and front panel for new iPads in a previous post, giving you a clear picture of what they'll look like. The image accompanying that post shows the front panel of the new iPad compared to the previous generation, showing how much narrower it is.
According to the Register, the new iPad will have the same A7 processor as in the iPhone 5s. This will also be big news if the iPad line moves up to a 64-bit architecture, with its greater speed and the increased horsepower necessary for running ever more sophisticated apps—even approaching the robustness of the software on desktop computers.
There have been rumors the new iPad mini will have a retina display, but other rumors have indicated the manufacturers have had challenges producing a retina display on the mini, and that it won't be ready until next year. If that's the case, it's hard to imagine what's in store for this device. Some rumors have suggested that Apple will come out with a lower-cost version of the mini. The Register article says it will also have the new A7 processor.
The big question is whether the new iPads will have some of the iPhone 5s features. It seems inevitable Apple will eventually include the A7 processor and Touch ID and M7 chip on all its devices. But when? It's unlikely the features of the iPhone 5s camera will make it into the new iPads.
So here's what I'm wishing for: an even thinner and lighter iPad mini with an IGZO retina display, touch ID, A7 processor, and M7 chip. If they announce something like that I'll jump. Otherwise, I'll likely stick with my first-generation model for now.