iPad Rumors: New Touchscreen Tech Will Lead to Thinner, Lighter 9.7-Inch Tablet

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By Erik Pineda | February 1, 2013 4:49 PM EST

Come March 2013, Apple intends to refresh its 9.7-inch iPad, this time around thinner and lighter from the version we have seen in the last quarter of 2012 thanks to a new touchscreen technology, a new report said.

The technology is not so new, according to DigiTimes, previously seen in another Apple, the iPad Mini. It is called G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touch screen and using it the tech giant was able to deploy a tablet screen that barely added a weight line to the total Mini heft.

The result was phenomenal acceptance of the smaller Apple slate, which the U.S. firm would naturally want to replicate on its bigger sibling.

"Apple ... is looking to bump up its competition in the tablet segment," by using the DITO touchscreen tech, DigiTimes said, citing its unnamed sources.

Furthermore, the company would want to ensure that "it has more adequate supply to the technology compared to one-glass-solution (OGS) technology," which is the current standard among tablet makers.

In line with this, Apple is reportedly stocking up on important components crucial to the production of new tablets with better touchscreen technology. For 2013, the company is said have programmed deliveries of the same parts in millions to match its annual production target, DigiTimes said.

Making up the new Apple partners in putting together the iPad Mini 2 and iPad 5 are Nitto and Nissha Printing of Japan. Respectively, the two will supply the thin-film material and the new touchscreen modules of the latest slate offerings from the tech titan.

They will be joined LG Display of South Korea and TPK of Taiwan. The former will supply the panel that will be installed on both iPads while the latter is tasked to take care of the lamination requirements for the two gadgets.

This latest information further strengthened reports, circulating as early as December 2012, that Apple is quickly upgrading the tablet lines it unleashed at the start of last year's holiday season.

Barely four months after their twin debut, the regular-sized iPad and the iPad Mini will likely welcome their replacements by March this year, a report by BGR News said back in December.

The upgrade move will now see the iPad Mini flashing the Retina Display technology following complaints from tech experts that Apple held back needlessly on that department.

It also expected that the Mini will get more processing power and RAM provisions. The 512MB RAM that Apple provided in November was routinely assailed by reviewers as sorely inadequate.

As for the bigger iPad, it has been getting incremental improvements. Just this week, Apple boosted its storage capacity to 128GB. Making a paper-like edition is definitely welcome news for Apple followers, blog reports said.

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