New iPad Design To Debut In March Or April 2013, Says Analyst

By Alexandra Burlacu email: | Feb 16, 2013 10:06 AM EST

Tags iPad, Apple

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Investment research firm Piper Jaffray says that based on a review of Apple's past years, the company could host an event by the end of April.

A recent rumor claimed that the Cupertino giant was preparing to host a developer-related television event in March, but the speculation died down almost immediately. Piper Jaffray, however, says that Apple's moves in the past years indicate that the company is likely to host an event by the end of April. That even could mark the debut of redesigned iPads.

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"We believe that looking at the history of time between Apple product launch events suggests that the company will introduce something new in March or April," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients on Friday, Feb. 15, according to Apple Insider. "Over the past few years, the Spring event has been iPad updates."

Apple introduced the iPad mini just a few months ago, in October. At the time, the Cupertino giant only made some minor updates to the full-sized iPads, which prompted Munster to believe that the first Apple event of 2013 could unveil a significant redesign to the full-sized iPad with Retina display, adding characteristics from the iPad mini.

According to Apple Insider, Munster explained that he went back and looked over several years of events where Apple launched major new hardware products, paying special attention to the time lapses between events. Apple held 11 major product launch events since June 8, 2009, when it launched the iPhone 3GS, said Munster.

"The average time between the events has been 123 days, about 4 months. The longest amount of time between events since the 3GS launch in 2009 was 216 days (about 7 months), which was the gap between the iPad 2 launch in March 2011 and the iPhone 4S launch in October 2011," said the analyst.

The iPhone 4S may have faced some delays that extended the time gap between launches, noted Munster. Considering that Apple's last event took place on Oct. 23, 2012, a four-month time lapse would indicate a late February event, while a seven-month difference would suggest a May event.

"We believe the most likely scenario is an event between the two, i.e. March or April," wrote the analyst, as cited by Apple Insider.

Apple, meanwhile, stays mum on its plans, in typical Apple fashion. Rumors keep swirling and piling up in anticipation, but nothing is certain at the moment.

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