By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 09, 2013 09:43 AM EDT
Apple's future products always spark plenty of rumors and speculation, and this time the fifth-generation iPad is in the spotlight.
While some previous rumors suggested Apple would release its fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad in April 2013, this timeframe seems increasingly unlikely. According to new reports, the iPad 5 may not arrive for a good while.
Citing "sources with Taiwan-based supply chain makers," DigiTimes reports that Apple's hardware partners will not start mass production for the fifth-generation iPad until July at least, or even August. Should this prove to be true, it would mean the iPad 5 will become available sometime in September or October.
"Yield rates for key components, especially touch panels, will be a major concern for smooth production," adds DigiTimes.
The publication notes that the next-generation iPad 5 should be lighter and thinner than the current model (which measures 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm), and it's going to have a narrower bezel, perhaps resembling the iPad Mini.
According to DigiTimes' sources, LG Display and Sharp will likely supply the iPad 5's display, while TPK will assemble the touch panel and Nitto Denko and Teijin will supply the ITO thin film.
The new DigiTimes report doesn't offer any additional details, but the next-generation iPad is expected to maintain the same resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The iPad 5 should also pack a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.
While Android tablets are becoming increasingly popular due to the wide range of products available and their more affordable price tags, the Cupertino giant still has plenty of fans eagerly awaiting new releases.
Apple sold a total of 22.9 million iPads during the fourth quarter of 2012, including iPad Mini models. The company probably sold even fewer units during the first quarter of this year, but things are bound to look up again once the iPad 5 makes its debut. Meanwhile, a second-generation 7.9-inch iPad Mini is also expected to hit the market this year.