iPad 5 Predicted to Be Thinner, Lighter: from KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Last autumn, Apple surprised most Apple fans with its introduction to the iPad 4 alongside the iPad Mini that was mostly identical to the third-gen iPad. Some people hoped Apple would fall in line with its yearly upgrade cycle and debut a brand new iPad 5 in March or April, but up to today, there’s still little word from Apple about a fifth-generation iPad. It looks as if that’s not happening.

Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst from KGI Securities who has on a number of occasions offered accurate information on Apple’s product plans, doesn’t think we’ll see the iPad 5 until this autumn. He believes production for the new device won’t come out until August or September for an autumn debut, roughly one year after the launch of iPad 4. Considering Apple’s silence about any new products this year, Kuo’s prediction makes sense on the surface.

Ming-Chi Kuo recently published a new research note outlining his expectations for Apple’s fifth-generation iPad. “We think the tablet will, at 7.5-8.0mm, be 15% thinner than iPad 4. The new device will likely be about 500 grams, or some 25% lighter than iPad 4, run on an A7X processor, and sport cameras with similar specs to the iPad 4′s (front HD, rear 5MP). The casing shape and color (silver and black) and narrow bezel design will be similar to the iPad Mini’s.”

The forecast of a 7.5-8.0 mm thickness is in step with previous rumors that the next iPad will see an approximately 2 mm reduction from the current 9.5 mm thickness.

Kuo predicts that Apple will adopt the same GF2 touch technology used in the iPad mini, enabling Apple to design a thinner display for the new full-size iPad. In addition, more efficient display and chip technologies are expected to bring down the device’s overall power consumption, allowing for a smaller and thinner battery.

“We therefore think that iPad 5′s battery capacity will be 25-30% smaller, at 8,500-9,000mAh, than iPad 4′s, and the battery’s thickness will be 15-20% smaller, at 7.5-8.0mm, and the number of cells will be reduced to two from three.”

Apple has not announced any new products this year, but it will report its first quarter earnings on April 23. Perhaps some clues will emerge then.

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