Imagining the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2

Analyzing rumors and speculation surrounding Apple's 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad mini, from chipsets, to designs, to screens, and more!

Apple is holding their next big event on October 22 and among the biggest news will likely be the updated iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. It's likely the new full-sized iPad will be made less fully-sized, and it's possible the new iPad mini will get a screen that's more maxi. But what else do we have to look forward to? Let's take a look!

iPad 5 design: Thin is in

Imagining iPad 5: Lighter, thinner design

Looking back, the original iPad was thick, heavy, RAM-starved, and low resolution. It was also magnificent. A big iPhone, according to its detractors, unimaginative, and, of course, doomed. Turns out it was an iPhone gone IMAX, bigger but also broader, as imaginative as the person using it, and the next evolution of personal computing. But, thick and heavy. Apple fixed that somewhat with the iPad 2, regressed slightly with the iPad 3 and 4, and then showed the world a thinner, lighter future with the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The iPad mini was so light and thin it was impossible to look at it and not want the same design on the 9.7-inch iPad 5. And it looks like that just might be exactly what we get...

iPad mini 2 display: Retina or bust

When the iPad mini launched it garnered universal acclaim for its smaller, thinner, and lighter 7.9-inch form factor that looked light-years ahead of the then 4th generation iPad. Slightly cheaper, the only thing it really seemed to lack was the high density Retina display of its 9.7-inch elder sibling. The reason for that? Retina is hard. You can have Retina, you can have lightness, and you can have battery life, but not all three at the same time. At least not back then. So what about now? Has time let technology catch up? Can Apple ship a Retina iPad mini in 2013? I'm thinking yes...

iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 internals: Touch ID, Apple A7, and M7

Apple A7 chipset brings 64-bit, twice the speed, OpenGL ES 3.0 gaming

There are some other new features that could make an appearance in Apple's next-generation tablets, including Touch ID, the fingerprint identify sensor. Of course, Touch ID requires the new Apple A7 chipset and its secure enclave to work, but that's a likely addition anyway, at least to the full-sized iPad. And with the A7 also comes the possibility of the Apple M7 motion-coprocessor. Would that make sense for a tablet? Or would running the deck on A7 this year, the way they did Lightning last year, make perfect sense...?

iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 cameras: iSight and FaceTime HD

What also remains to be seen is what will happen with the iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, tablet editions. While not as dismal as the original iPad camera, they've still lagged enormously behind the iPhone. Better FaceTime HD cameras are a given, but could an 8 megapixel camera, powered by the A7 image signal processor, make this year much, much better?

iPad 5 and iPad mini 2: The bottom line

A lot of questions still surround the iPad 5 and iPad mini launch, especially when it comes to Apple A7 chipsets and Touch ID on both models, and Retina on the mini. That also means pricing is up in the air. Apple will almost certainly keep the iPad 5 at a base $499 price tag. Will they keep the 2011 iPad 2 around at $399, even for education? Can Apple afford to put an A7 Retina iPad mini at the same $329 price point as last year's A5, non-Retina version? And if not, if it does have to move up to $399 (the old iPad 2 price point), does last year's iPad mini drop down to $299 to further lower the lowest cost of entry? Based on past behavior, Apple could run the tables on Retina and Touch ID this year, and use older models to make sure there's no umbrella beneath them. That's what I'd like to see.

But only one thing is for certain at this point: The October 22 iPad event is going to be something. And iMore will be bringing you the absolute best coverage, color, and commentary in the business, like usual!

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

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