According to Taiwanese supply chain manufacturers, the new fifth generation iPad will go into volume production in July or August and the second iteration of iPad Mini is set to enter mass production in the last quarter of 2013. The news comes on the heel of prior announcements that the next generation iPad will come in a shell that makes it look more and more like the iPad Mini. Set to feature a thinner bezel, chamfered edges and an overall weight reduction of 20 to 30%, the new 9.7-inch iPad is likely going to be launched in October.
The Taiwanese sources said, “The next-generation 9.7-inch iPad is expected to adopt a thin-film-type touch panel solution to reduce its weight by 20-30% and will adopt a slim bezel design to increase the display area. The new iPad’s industrial design reportedly will also be modified.”
When it comes to the iPad Mini, it looks like Apple will hold off launching it for up to 2 to 3 months after the launch of the 9.7-inch iPad. This way, it can maintain consumer interest in the full-fledged and redesigned version of the iPad. Its total market estimates for the year 2013 were set to be around 80-100 million units, but that has been lowered as the iPad Mini production has been pushed back to the fourth quarter. The next iPad Mini should be launched in November.
In a citation, the sources claimed that, “With the addition of the next-generation iPad, Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad shipments are expected to total at around eight million units in the third quarter and will have a chance to rise further in the fourth due to seasonality. As for the second-generation iPad mini, some market watchers believe the delay is because 9.7-inch iPad sales were seriously impacted by iPad mini in 2012. To avoid this scenario, Apple has turned its product focus for 2013 to the new 9.7-inch iPad.”
However, other sources claim that the delay in the iPad Mini production is actually due to the supply chain not being able to meet the production targets. Whatever the case might be, we should see both the iPad and iPad Mini in store shelves in time for the holidays.