iPad 5 Upcoming Release Date Hinted by Case Makers [PHOTOS]

  on February 26 2013 1:22 PM

It is speculated that the Apple's iPad 5 release date will be soon as a number of case makers revealed their designs for the device.

The leaked images of the supposed iPad 5 cases hint the imminent release date of the tablet. Reports claimed that the fifth generation of the Apple's tablet will be release in June.

Business Insider has obtained the first image of the case, which could reveal the look, size and shape of the new tablet.

A representative from mobile accessory manufacturer MiniSuit told BI that his company invests in tips regarding the release of future mobile products. He thinks the latest info he received is pretty accurate; hence the production of the iPad 5 case along with the iPad Mini and iPad 4 cases.

Following the reports showing new iPad 5 cases that indicate a revised design, a substantial number of new iPad 5 cases have appeared on e-commerce site Alibaba.com.

The cases, specifically touted for the as-yet-unannounced iPad 5, show a similar design to those revealed in the initial report, indicating that they have been engineered for an iPad with squarer edges that the current generation iPad.

The new cases also contain an additional hole in the top center of the case, likely for a microphone, as well as slots for speakers positioned either side of the Lightning connector instead of just on one side.

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

"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.

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

See the slideshow for the purported photos of iPad 5 cases and iPad 5 concepts.

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