iPad 5 Release Date Almost Sure for Oct 15? iPad Mini 2 with Retina to Be Delayed Until Q1 2014 – Report

By @ibtimesau on

Rumour has it that Apple is hosting a media event on Oct 15, which likely will serve as the iPad 5 release date and Apple fans are crossing their fingers for the prayer to become real.

Yet what about the more popular iPad Mini 2, which everyone expects to finally flash its high-resolution Retina display panel?

The likelihood is, according to CNET, the compact iOS 7 tablet will get a preview on the same day but consumers getting their mitts on the 7.9-inch slate is a different story. Yes, its launch date is unlikely to happen in the closing months of 2013, said the tech site.

Pointing to research firm IHS iSuppli as the source of its scoop, CNET explained that the very reasons the iPad Mini has become hugely popular are causing its debut delay. Apple is still dealing with production issues that prevent the Mini 2 from hitting store shelves anytime this year with Retina and with the same sexy form-factor exhibited by the first build.

IHS' Rhoda Alexander told the tech site that the Mini 2 coming out with the fifth-gen 9.7-inch iPad either in October or November 2013 is highly improbable. "The Retina Mini looks less certain for (any of) that time," the analyst stressed.

Apart from the Retina challenge, Apple remains entangled in solving the second Mini's design concerns. It appears that due to component upgrades - the inclusion of Retina and faster processor to the mix - the Mini is forced to accept more heft, Ms Alexander suggested.

And Apple is at loss if the extra weight and volume will get the same warn welcome from iPad lovers.

"I don't think that there's any way that they're not going to have a trade-off with thickness," said Ms Alexander.

If indeed buyers will have to wait some more months before the Mini 2 arrives, at least Apple will confirm that the tablet is real and chances are, the product will be announced next month.

IHS is convinced the small tablet will be unveiled with the iPad 5 but the whole shipment process will have wait until next year.

Will this 'projected delay, be counted against Apple and prompt would-be buyers to look beyond the iOS option?

Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities thinks a Mini 2 launch pushback will favour the competition, providing golden opportunities for Android rivals to fill in the holiday void created by the iPad Mini absence.

Analysts fear that with the Mini 2 skipping out the 2013 holiday quarter, Amazon's Kindle, Google's Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 and Galaxy Note series will be having the time of their lives.

But is Apple really leaving the lone iPad 5 to slug it out with the challengers, seemingly convinced that its slimmed down and lighter profile plus powerful components will keep the cash register ringing.

Still, hopes remain alive for Apple fans that the iPad 5 and iPad Mini release date is taking place soon, if not on Oct 15 then on the immediate weeks to follow.

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