Consumers may witness another shift in the product cycle of tech giant Apple as new rumours claimed that Apple's tablets iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will be released ahead of the company's smartphone - iPhone 6.
iPad tablets had traditionally been spring launches for Apple, with the first three generations rolling out at special media events in the February to April timeframe, while the iPhone was long a summer launch.
In 2011, Apple began releasing the iPhone in the fall, and last year surprised consumers by also releasing the iPad mini and iPad 4 at a separate fall event. Now with confirmation that the iPhone is shifting back to summer, the next generation iPad models are suddenly up in the air as to when they will see their release date.
As April came and still no sign whether the company will release any device soon, some are wondering if Apple is eyeing the summer for its next round of new iPads. But with the new iPhone now occupying that spot, it more likely signals that the new iPads will be shifted to either the spring or fall in order to space out the rollouts.
If pushed to the fall, that would mean a full year between iPad and iPad mini generations even as Apple is shortening its iPhone generational schedule to about nine months. It then stands to reason that the new iPads are far more likely to land in spring of 2013, or what's left of it. That would mean a press event sometime in April or May and a release date shortly thereafter.
According to reports, iPad Mini 2 will feature a screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. This is almost four times the resolution of the present iPad Mini and is equal to the fourth generation iPad which was released along with the iPad Mini last year. AU Optronics has been rumoured to be making displays for the iPad Mini 2.
Other specs include a more powerful dual core A7 processor and a 7.9 inch screen. It will also feature a 10-hour battery life, a FaceTime HD camera, and an iSight camera with 1080 pixels HD video recording. Apple is also trying to reduce the thickness of the iPad Mini 2 by using the Sharp's IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology in its screens.
The iPad 5, on the other hand, 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.