Lighter iPad 5 reportedly entering production soon


May 20, 2013

Apple is reportedly set to begin production on the 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad

Apple is reportedly set to begin production on the 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad

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Apple usually keeps a pretty steady stream of product announcements coming. But right now we’re in the middle of the longest Apple product drought in recent memory (pushing seven months). So it’s natural that we’ll start hearing rumors about the next wave of products about to enter the pipeline. That’s just what happened today, with news of Apple’s suppliers gearing up for production of a new iPad.

The news comes from DigiTimes, which says the 5th-generation iPad will enter production soon. Apparently volume production will start in July, and it’ll hit store shelves as early as September. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s pretty much in line with previous rumors about the iPad 5 – including from proven Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Like Kuo’s predictions, today’s report points to a 5th-gen iPad with a positively iPad mini-like design. Like the 7.9-inch tablet, the 9.7 version would have narrower bezels and a thinner/lighter build. Or so the rumors say.

Shedding weight by shedding LEDs

The DigiTimes report also gives us a few technical tidbits. Supposedly the display resolution will be the same as the iPads 3 and 4 (2048 x 1536), but Apple will use a thinner glass substrate (0.2 mm, to the last iPad’s 0.25 mm).

It will also supposedly drop the dual LED light bars from the last two iPads – shifting to just one. Those two LED bars are part of the reason for the massive (42.5 W-h) battery in the 3rd and 4th generation iPads. Cut a light bar, and you potentially have a smaller battery ... and a lighter iPad.

It would be 25-33 percent lighter, according to the estimates in today’s report. That has us looking at a weight of 438-490 grams – easily making the next iPad the lightest tablet we’ve seen in the 9- to 10-inch range.

Grains of salt

As always – especially when we’re dealing with DigiTimes reports – we’ll want to take all of this with many grains of salt. You can learn a lot from the supply chain, but that doesn’t mean you won’t also get your fair share of bogus rumors.

Still, there’s been enough smoke to suggest that Apple will be lighting a new iPad fire sometime between August and November.

Source: DigiTimes, via MacRumors

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

Thinner or no bezel means harder to hold without pressing the screen (unless the ipad has capacitive edges to know where your hand is holding it. In the near future, these new iPads should come with a clip on hand strap so you can comfortably rest it on your palm.

Also, two light bars provide the brightness required for daylight use. If they use one, it may be slightly less power hungry, but you still need to have the same amount of brightness. This means the single light bar needs to be twice as bright. I assume a big improvement in technology allows them to do this more efficiently then with 2.

Lastly, the obsession to make thing slighter and thinner is understood, but in this case is negligible. Rather then going for the lightest ipad award, why not keep the thickness the same and go for a bigger battery to bump it from 10 hrs use to 24. Or better yet, use that extra space for improved cooling because I can tell you my 3 runs damn hot outdoors.

Besides, people can be ridiculous when they opt for a lighter tablet, then accesorize it with leather pouches and addons that end up doubling the weight anyway.


A lighter iPad would definitely be welcome.

A reputable case supplier in China Emailed me dimension drawings they received back in April from an Apple assembler. It shows 9.3" x 6.6" dimensions with 0.29" thickness.

Which would mean a smaller it will be interesting what the ergonomics would be like.

No doubt the Apple product cycle drought has to break soon. More importantly break the staleness and stay relevant.

Its hard for Apple to dramatically change their hardware design which means Johnny Ives needs to reveal a pretty impressive iOS revamp on June 10.

Faysal Sekkouah

It would make sense if they stuck a processor like the Silvermont into the new device. They use 1/5 the power and have intelligent idle technology.

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