For the iPad's first three iterations, Apple's release cycle was obvious. Every March or April, that year's model would hit store shelves. But after the company unveiled the iPad mini and 4th generation iPad last October, nobody knew exactly what to expect in 2013. Today those plans may be a bit clearer.
Compact iPad 5According to Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge – who has a history of accurate iPad leaks – the 5th-generation iPad will likely launch around October. In line with previous reports, he says that its design will be iPad mini-esque, with narrow side bezels and a thinner form factor.
The iPad 5 may lose some height as well, with Horwitz describing the areas above and below the 9.7-inch display as "only enough space" for the home button and front-facing camera. This would make it smaller in every dimension – and likely much lighter.
Given the über-thin casing, Horwitz speculates that the tablet will sport an IGZO display. Its benefits would be two-fold: the display itself is thinner than current iPad displays, and its lower power requirements allow for a smaller battery.
Horwitz's sources had previously pointed to a late March release, but now point to October.
Retina iPad mini, new iPhones
Horwitz's sources also briefed him on the iPad mini's future, saying they also expect its second model to arrive in October. It will supposedly retain the same design as the current model, only with a Retina Display.
The report continues that the iPhone 5S will – like the iPhones 3GS and 4S – look like its predecessor, with some internal upgrades. It will supposedly add a faster processor, with a 13-megapixel Sony-made camera sensor, and a larger rear flash.
The sources also point to the fabled budget iPhone arriving in 2013. It would sport a plastic body, and would be aimed largely at the Chinese market, where most customers buy off-contract.