iPad 5 Release Date Expected on Spring 2013 with Minimal Changes, Says Analyst

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By Kristin Dian Mariano | February 19, 2013 12:20 PM EST

The fifth generation of iPad will be released in April with slight changes made on the device, according to Piper Jaffray's analyst Gene Munster.

Gene Munster based his predictions on "the history of time," an Apple event is imminent.

"We believe that looking at the history of time between Apple product launch events suggests that the company will introduce something new in March or April," said Munster. "Over the past two years, the Spring event has been iPad updates."

Munster further noted the first Apple event of 2013 could produce a design overhaul to the 9.7-inch iPad.

"We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad Mini. Additionally, we believe that the iPad Mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the Mini in the December quarter," noted the Piper Jaffray's analyst.

Munster said that it is the redesigned iPad 5 that will offer the same iPad Mini-like design style. The full-sized iPad release date may be in April as Munster claims despite growing reports that Apple will not launch any new devices on first half of 2013 because it updated almost all devices last quarter only.

The iPad 5 is rumoured to have no bezels, and the whole form factor has been made sleeker. Horowitz believes this design indicates that Apple will be calling on Sharp's IGZO screen technology. Sharp, however, according to Horowitz, has been struggling, and its ability to deliver components on time will play a key role in the release of the next iPad.

Meanwhile, tech giant Apple recently started selling the upgraded version of the iPad 4 with 128GB storage last February 5. This newest gadget includes a 9.7-inch retina display and 128 GB. The iPad 4 is basically the same as its predecessor, the only improvements being its storage size and retina display. However, the device costs $100 greater than the original version.

However, the Cupertino-based company remained tight-lipped on the rumours and on its plans for this year. 

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