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iPad 5 release date, specs, features and price

13 Apr 2013

 

Our iPad 5 release date, specs, features & price rumours article is updated regularly, so check back for the latest update. Updated on the 12th April with more information on the screen.

It has to be said that the iPad 4 launch in October 2012 came as something of a surprise, just six months after the launch of the iPad 3

While it may have been a surprise, the iPad 4 made a lot of sense from Apple's point of view. It added the same Apple A6 processor (technically, the A6X with quad-core graphics) and Lightning connector as used on the iPhone 5, putting Apple's mobile products in line with each other.

It now means that the decks are cleared for the company to start work on its next generation tablet, the iPad 5.

 

 

iPAD 5 DESIGN

 

The most recent information on design has come from iPad 5 case leaks. These images show that the new tablet will take its design cues from the iPad mini, with a slimmer and narrower body.

What's more convincing is that there have been two leaks showing the same kind of thing. First, BGR reported images found on Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce site, which showed that the new iPad 5 would be styled on the iPad Mini.

iPad 5 case leak
The Alibaba case leak seems to show that the iPad 5 will look like the iPad Mini

Next, MacRumours displayed some pictures from MiniSuit, showing how the new iPad 5 case stacked up against the iPad Mini and iPad 4 cases.

iPad 5 cases
The MiniSuit case leak, shows how the iPad 5, iPad Mini and iPad 4 all line up

Case manufacturers often get hold of early spec information so that they can start to make products before a product is officially launched. It can be a gamble, but getting it right and being first to market can bay dividends. Typically, case manufacturers don't start producing samples until we're near launch, in order to get their product as accurate as possible.

Rumours that the iPad 5 will look like the iPad Mini continue, with a photo appearing that is allegedly the front of the new tablet. As you can see from the image below, the front has a thinner bezel than the existing iPad. However, we wouldn't necessarily believe this picture, as it could be faked or simply a Chinese clone.

Apple iPad 5
This photo leak appears to show that the iPad 5 will look like the iPad Mini

The latest leaks seem to show two things, then: the iPad 5 will look similar to the iPad Mini, and it will be released, too.

 

 

iPAD 5 RELEASE DATE

 

Although the initial rumours had the Apple iPad 5 launching in March 2013, this date now seems very unlikely. Although this would put it roughly a year after the iPad 3, which fits Apple's usual release schedule, if you accept that the iPad 4 is a tweak to an existing product rather than something completely new, it now seems that Apple is planning something different.

According to Rene Ritchie at iMore the iPad 5 could be out in April. "We've also been told an April-ish launch is getting serious consideration for the next-generation iPads, but we're really not sure what to make of that yet," wrote Ritchie.

This would put the launch back by just over a month from the initial rumours, but even then we're not certain that this information is right. All of the most recent information seems to point to Apple gearing up for a June launch for its tablet. This would give it enough distance from the iPad 4 to warrant a new model, without running the risk of annoying its customers by releasing three new iPads within a year.

It could be that all of these rumours are just that and that March 2013 release date is rather hopeful. After all, if Apple did release three iPads within a year, it could end up with a lot of unhappy customers. In that case, we'd expect the iPad 5 to be launched in October 2013, one year after the iPad 4 and iPad Mini.

Apple, naturally, is silent on the matter, refusing to comment until it formally unveils the tablet.

 

 

iPAD 5 FEATURES

 

Apple has always been known for its amazing displays on its tablets, and the iPad 5 should be no different. Industry insiders are strongly tipping Apple's new tablet to use the latest technology and it seems entirely possible that it will use an IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screen.

IGZO screens use up to 90 per cent less power when displaying still images, which would be great for battery life, and are considerably thinner than existing technology. IGZO would fit in well with reports that the new iPad will be as thin as 7.2mm, as reported by 9to5Mac.

iPad Mini
The iPad 5 could use the same design elements as the iPad Mini

There's even more evidence that Apple is thinking about IGZO, as CES 2013 was the first time that we saw the Sharp IGZO display. The model we saw was a 32in 4K display, but that's not to say that the technology can't successfully be shrunk down to fit the iPad.

It's also clear that if Apple wants to mimic the iPad Mini's design with the iPad 5, it's going to have to slim down the screen technology to fit. While IGZO will do that it's also rumoured that the iPad 5 will get a slimmer LED backlight. This will let Apple make a smaller, thinner iPad, not to mention saving on cost.

The main question now is, what size will that display be? The iPad 3 and iPad 4 both had 9.7in 4:3 displays with a resolution of 2,048x1,536. It's entirely possible that Apple will stick with this resolution and size for the iPad 5, particularly if the design rumours are true. These point to a thinner 9.7in device that take on the design elements of the iPad mini.

If the iPad 5 has a 9.7in screen, then it's more than likely it'll keep the same resolution as the previous two iPads. According to Apple, its existing iPad has a Retina display, which means you can't see the individual pixels when used at a normal distance. In other words, it means that adding more resolution is technically pointless, as you wouldn't get any benefit.

That's not to say that Apple won't try something completely different, particular as its competition has caught up, such as with the Google Nexus 10, which has a screen resolution of 2,560x1,600. At 300ppi, Google's tablet has a higher pixel density than the iPad 5's 264ppi.

 

 

iPAD 5 STORAGE

 

One thing that seems likely is that the iPad 5 will up its maximum storage from 64GB to 128GB. We've seen this in our iPhone 5S rumours article, so it would make sense that the same capacities would be available for the new iPad.

It would seem that a 128GB model is now absolutely certain, as Apple released a 128GB iPad, doubling the maximum amount of storage available on its tablets.

This update was said to be about increasing the variety of uses for the tablet, with Apple stating that more storage was good for large files for use in applications such as CAD and music production. It's also a more useful amount of storage for photos and videos.

The update to the iPad 4 was a completely new model with a new price, so we'd expect the same range of capacities and prices to be available from the iPad 5: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. With Apple now using 128GB storage in its tablets, the question is whether or not it will provide the same range of capacities in its iPhone and iPad Mini range, too.

 

iPAD 5 PRICE

 

If there's one thing that we can be more certain of, it's price. Apple typically prices its new products at the same price as the outgoing models. If that's true, the iPad 5 should start at £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for 32GB, £559 for 64GB and, if the £80 price increase per model holds out, £639 for 128GB. Of course, it could be that the 16GB model is dropped, and the 32GB model starts at £399, with 128GB for £559. Mobile 4G versions should cost £100 more.

As we reported above about the new storage capacities, Apple introduced a 128GB iPad 4 for £639 (Wi-Fi only) and £739 (Wi-Fi + Cellular), which is just what we predicted it would cost. By that token, we'd guess that the iPad 5 will go on sale for the same prices as the existing iPad.

 

 

IPAD 5 VIBRATION

 

Patently Apple has uncovered a new Apple patent that could bring a vibrator to the iPad 5, allowing it to deliver similar message alerts to the iPhone 5.

According to the report, the new device is a multi-channel audio decoder integrated chip, which can drive audio or a vibrator. Used in the iPad it would allow the tablet to vibrate when a message comes in, or it could be used within games to give feedback.

Of course, having a patent for something and using it are two completely different things and it may be that Apple will keep vibration to the phone. However, it's interesting to note that the patent application shows an iPad-style device.

iPad 5 vibrator patent
Vibration could be coming to the iPad 5 thanks to a new patented chip

 

iPAD 5 WIRELESS CHARGING

 

Wireless charging seems to be something that every company is investigating, but the Apple could do it a different way with the iPad 5.

AppleInsider has found a new Apple Patent, which covers a new Smart Cover that houses the inductive charging transmitter. When the cover is connected to the iPad and closed, it activates and lets you charge the device via a wireless charger.

It's important to point out that the current generation iPads don't have the wireless charging circuitry in them, so the new Smart Cover wouldn't work. That could mean that this is a new feature for the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.

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