The usual source of supply chain information, DigiTimes, is up on Monday morning publishing the latest in future Apple product rumors. This time, they involve the next iPads, both full size and mini flavors. According to the site, Cupertino is on schedule to release the next generation 9.7″ iPad in September. However, the 2nd gen iPad mini could be a little later as the company is still weighing up whether or not to equip it with a Retina display.
Apple’s next full-size iPad as we all know is rumored to be slimmer than the current version, with thinner bezels and design influences taken from the iPad mini. To get the body thinner, it’s rumored that Apple will be taking out one of the LED tubes currently used to backlight the Retina display. It’s this extra LED tube that resulted in the 3rd/4th gen iPad being thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. If that’s the case, Apple has clearly found a much more powerful and efficient LED tube than currently used.
Production of the device is going ahead as I type this, and yields have already reached a satisfactory volume, and Apple already has enough coming through the manufacturing plants to release it.
The iPad mini – on the other hand – isn’t as concrete yet. Rumors are that Apple is still looking in to the Retina display and whether or not it can include one without losing performance or the comfortable and portable form factor. If the next mini does include a Retina, it more than likely won’t arrive until the final quarter of the year, before the holiday season.
Of course, this is all speculation from the supply chain. And while the information could well be accurate now, Apple is known to change its mind and nothing is ever set in stone. So, usual pinch of salt, but there’s certainly enough in the rumors to be classed – at the very least – as credible.
In my own opinion, last year’s pre-holiday launch proved a massive success and Apple would surely consider using the same time frame again this year if it means millions more people will buy its already popular iPads. Launching it sooner may result in the buzz running out before the hottest shopping period of the year.