The sudden disappearance of iPad 4 and iPad Mini at multiple online retailers hints the imminent release of their successors - iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.
Early this month, several websites reported that Apple and retailers offered great discounts on the current iPad models. According to rumours, almost 30 percent being slashed off the price of iPad's and iPad mini's, the clearance sale by the retail giants on tablet's third anniversary is a clear cut indication that Apple is all set to hit the market with a new and updated iPad for the customers.
The price cuts hinted at a move by Apple to clear out inventory ahead of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 launch, and the subsequent sell-outs of those same models all but confirm it. If the price cuts had merely been to catch up on inventory of laggard selling models, they would not have sold out. This means Apple's authorized price cuts were meant to clear out the inventory of retiring the iPad 4 in favor of newly introduced models.
Unless the updates are minor, the release date for the iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 will be preceded by an Apple media event which is normally announced a week in advance of the event, with the new products hitting stores days or weeks later. The increasingly severe shortage of iPad inventory at online retailers points to those arrivals coming sooner than later.
Apple's full-sized tablet iPad 5 is expected to make its debut on June 18; while the iPad Mini 2 with Retina screen display may be released as late as November this year due to manufacturing issues.
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.