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  1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    Apple’s component suppliers are said to start shipping parts for both a next-gen iPad and iPad mini late in the third quarter according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He claims that mass production and release will follow shortly thereafter. The information comes from a research note that Kuo had sent to investors, which stated that he expected Apple’s iPad business to transition late in the third quarter with component shipments and initial assembly of the ‘iPad 5” and “iPad mini 2.” The analyst was quick to note however that the new iPads’ build schedule will likely preclude the tablets from being unveiled at Apple’s September 10 media event.

    The late refresh cycle for the iPad 5 is due to a rumored design that is said to bring the device more in line with the existing iPad mini. These changes will affect mass production, which won’t happen until the fourth quarter according to Kuo. The analyst also predicts that the iPad 5 to boast TDD-LTE support, a somewhat exotic cellular protocol used by China Mobile. As far as the second-gen iPad mini, Kuo expects the tablet to have a Retina display and next-gen “A7X” processor, which will also be used in the iPad 5. The extra horsepower is needed to drive the high-resolution screen according to Kuo, though it is unclear if the system-on-a-chip will be under clocked to preserve battery life.

    According to the analyst, Apple pulled in the launch timeline for the “iPad mini 2” to contend with an expected range of competing small form factor tablets that also use high-resolution displays. This suggests that the company’s original plan was to debut the second-gen device in 2014. Instead, Kuo predicts a second, less-expensive iPad mini model which is said to be released next year. To cut down on parts costs, the current model’s screen will be carrier over to the budget tablet as well as a processor based on Apple’s existing A6 architecture.

    Kuo’s supplier estimates show that the iPad 2 will remain in Apple’s table, which would suggest the company is planning to market two tablet tiers to consumers: Retina and non-Retina. A similar scenario seems to be panning out with the MacBook Pro lineup as of right now. Kuo sees Apple launching both the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 by the end of the year; though a specific date range has yet to be established.

    We’ll have to wait and see if his predictions are correct.

    Source: KGI Research via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2013-09-05 04:58 AM
  2. Jahooba's Avatar
    Is that 68 million iPads for 2013? That's an astronomical amount. It's hard to wrap my mind around the logistics and money needed to make the iPad exist.
    2013-09-05 07:25 AM
  3. flash66's Avatar
    Analyst Shmanalyst... We'll see.
    2013-09-05 02:21 PM