Lighter iPad 5, Retina iPad mini once again rumored for the fall

We're in the midst of the busy season again for Apple rumors and speculation, and another report has emerged corroborating much of what we've already heard, including the September 10 new iPhone event. From Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is preparing to introduce a new version of the iPad with a thinner design, people familiar with the plans said

Apple also plans to introduce a new iPad mini, the first with a high-resolution screen, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the development is private.

The report of an event taking place on September 10 was first reported over the weekend, and is consistent with information that we've heard ourselves along with multiple other sources. Talk of new iPads reaffirms what we're all expecting to see in Q4, since by that point we'll be 12 months on from the launch of the 4th generation iPad. We've heard on more than one occasion that the next generation full sized iPad will take on a form factor similar to the iPad mini, and Bloomberg sees no reason to disagree.

The fact they're betting on Retina for the next iPad mini is interesting. We've spoken previously of the difficulties in taking the iPad mini retina, and that Apple won't launch the product until the battery life and price point meets with their criteria. Either way, the iPad mini will be coming up for a year old in Q4, so it's tough to imagine that Apple will let the year end without doing something with it.

What we do know is; we're in for a hell of a ride in the next few months. New OS X release, new iOS release, and a new hardware event just under a month away, it's going to get crazy. To help you pass the time, be sure to enter iMore's contest to win a $500 Apple gift certificate that could go a long way to that new iPhone 5s that you'll be craving this time next month!

Source: Bloomberg

iPad Air

iPad Air
Apple's full-sized iPad gets slimmed down. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November, 2013

Alternatives
Retina iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad mini (original)

Replacements
iPad Air 2 (iPad 6)
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum

Retina iPad mini

Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November 12, 2013

Alternatives
iPad mini (original), iPad Air, iPad 2

Replacements
iPad Mini 3
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 13 comments. Add yours.

iSRS says:

Could the iPad mini with retina be our of necessity? Perhaps battery can be there, but not margins, but, based on what the competition is doing, they feel it best to not cede ground and sacrifice some margin? Seems hard to swallow, but maybe the best option?

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11thIndian says:

It's hard to say if it's a defensive move or not. Apple would surely know the statistics better than we do of how much impact a non-Retina Mini2 would have. Though tech sites and those that visit them would squawk VERY loud, that audience is realistically a very small part of the iPadMini's target market. Whether some want to admit it or not, many people can't even tell the difference between a Retina and non screen.

Look at how people companied about the slight bump in thickness and weight on the iPad3 Retina. Can Apple square the sides of that triangle of price, dpi, and battery life?

On the other hand perhaps they have been able to make some big leaps with the screen and processor that make a Mini with the same weight, thickness, battery-life, price, and Retina screen possible. If so, they'll do it.

iSRS says:

Great points. Personally, is rather see 128 GB options on the mini and iPhone, if they can solve that space issue, which, especially in the iPhone, is no small feat

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williamsbh76 says:

I would be ok if the mini were a little thicker and I would not be shocked if they do. Especially after the iPad 3rd gen was thicker than the iPad 2. I just wonder what kind of chip it would have to push the display. My iPad 3 is getting a little slow but maybe Mini would do better with the same chip and less screen to push. It will be interesting to see.

BB fan forever says:

There is no such thing as Retina, its just H.D. Why cant people understand. Apple has fooled so many people. My opinions so dont get mad.

macharborguy says:

Honestly, every company has their own marketing terms to make their product sound better, not just Apple.

And based on the general definition of High Definition, it would also include the non-Retina iPads, since HD is really just anything above Standard Definition (480i) and Enhanced Definition (480p).

The minimum "standardized" idea of HD is anything that can push at least 720 pixels in the vertical, and wide-screen (16:9) doesn't really come into the picture. And with the iPad 1, 2 and Mini having a resolution of 1024x768, that is well above the 720 pixels vertical required to considered HD.

Also keep in mind that 16x9 wide-screen is not required for being considered "High Definition", as 16x9 is more about the film side of things and less about the resolution. This is why I have never really liked 16x9 tablets, as they feel too awkward to hold. Most books have the 4x3 ratio, which is why the iPad (to me at least) feels more natural to hold, since we as humans have been using books for quite a few centuries.

The "Retina display" term that Apple came up with actually had a hard meaning behind it, that being a device, when viewed at a natural distance, has a high enough resolution and pixel density that the user could no longer distinguish between individual pixels.

For the iPhone 4 and up, it is around 326dpi at a viewing distance of around 10 inches. For the iPad 3 and up, it is 264dpi at 15 inches, and for the MacBook Pro it is 220dpi at around 20 inches.

Then we have the new 4K HDTVs (or UltraHD) which is the same as what Apple does with their "Retina" displays, they simply double the pixel density of the display.

I have a 47" Vizio HDTV (1080P) which has a DPI of around 46.87. At about 3 feet away, and with my less than 20/20 vision, i can barely make out the individual pixels. At that distance, my TV is in effect a "retina" display. At 6-10 feet, i cannot tell the difference between 1080P and 720P content, and at a further distance, I cannot tell the difference between 720P and 480P (as long as the source content is not overly blurry).

CORYK333 says:

Wow, you're pretty "into" display tech, huh? That was a GREAT write-up dude......a little off topic, but who do u think is making the best TV display ATM (Seems like u know your stuff, so a personal preference is fine by me)

Ohleo says:

The iPad Mini sounds interesting. Hopefully it is better than the Nexus 7 because it is looking REALLY good right now.

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nat750 says:

I think Apple puts too much focus on design & should sometimes focus on OS & new features more. It's nice to have beautiful looking products but to be fair my iPhone 5 has a carbon fibre skin, screen protector & is in a mophie juice pack helium case so the design of the phone is no longer on show plus the fact I don't think the iPhone 5 is that nice to hold on its own without some kind of case with grip. What I'm trying to say is I don't care if Apples new products have a new design I'm more interested in features now & after a year of waiting I won't be happy if the new iPhone or iPad mini are 'Lighter & Thinner' with no exciting new features.

ZkiZZoiD says:

+1 for iPad mini Retina display. Sure buy.

janicke73 says:

Newbie question here: I have an ipad 2 that a friend is ready to by off me & I was just about to buy a (hardly used) 4th gen ipad myself. However, my husband sent me this tech-radar article, "ipad-5-release-date-news-and-rumors-1107009", & asked whether I'd rather want to wait until (certainly late, given that I live in Switzerland) October for the rumored, slightly lighter & slicker "ipad 5".

I feel the "ipad 4" would already be a big leap forward , and given how I use it, weight isn't such a big deal for me; I always carry it in a bag (never when I only have my purse, I mean) or use it on the sofa at home etc. BTW, contrary to my better half, I therefore see no use what so ever for a "mini" of any kind, since I have an iphone for on-the-go usage. I'm actually starting to see my ipad, in combination with a keyboard cover as a replacement for my MBP, which I no longer bring when I travel & wonder whether I'll ever need to replace, since I'm not really a "pro" at all 8)

anyway, what I'd like your input on is whether it would be stupid of me to buy a new "ipad 4" right now, moneywise, as I guess the price will drop the day a new version is out (of the bag). however, I also see that the ipad 2 will be discontinued when this happens & feel that now is the time to sell the one I have, if I want to get any cash to put into my new buy - & not feel like a jerk for selling an antique to my friend - who btw bought my husband's "ipad 1" when he moved on to a nexus 7 ...

jack1306 says:

Should I wait for the iPad 5 or buy the 4th gen? When will the Q4 be?

iMobileRescue says:

Conflicting stories out there! As usual though. We actually don't think iPad 5 or mini 2nd GEN will be released in September. Looking more like it'll just be 5C and 5S, with a launch for the pads later in the year, right around the holidays. (strategy!)