By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 05, 2013 10:58 AM EDT
Apple's next-generation iPad and iPad Mini will reportedly arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a new report.
The company is expected to unveil its new smartphones, the purported iPhone 5S and the much-rumored budget iPhone 5C on Sept. 10, with new iPads set to debut in October.
According to well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, component suppliers working with Apple will start shipping parts for the new iPad and iPad Mini toward the end of the year, with mass production and launch set to follow shortly after.
The news comes from AppleInsider, which claims to have obtained a research note in which the analyst details his expectations. Kuo believes that Apple's iPad business will pick up late in the third quarter, with shipments of parts and initial assembly of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2. The analyst further notes that this schedule likely means that Apple's Sept. 10 event will not feature any iPads.
Apple is reportedly working on a new design that would bring the next-generation iPads more in line with the current iPad Mini, and this, in turn, would lead to a delay in launching the refreshed models. According to Kuo, such design changes will affect mass production, which will not start until the fourth quarter.
When it comes to anticipating what changes the refreshed models will bring, the analyst expects the iPad 5 to come with TDD-LTE support, a protocol China Mobile uses, and the new iPad Mini to rock a Retina display. Both the iPad 5 and the new iPad Mini will reportedly boast an "A7X" processor to accommodate the higher-resolution display. Kuo does note, however, that it remains unclear whether Apple will under-clock the chipset in order to preserve battery life.
The analyst further contends that Apple will launch the iPad Mini 2 earlier than it had originally planned in order to better compete with a slew of tablets with high-resolution displays in the 7- to 8-inch category. This means that Apple may have initially planned to unleash the new iPad Mini sometime in 2014, not this year.
On the other hand, Kuo also believes that Apple will launch another iPad Mini model next year as well, targeting a more affordable price point. The display of the current iPad Mini will reportedly power next-year's budget version, along with a chipset based on Apple's A6 architecture. These compromises would allow the company to reduce component costs and offer the slate at a lower price.
Foxconn is expected to produce all 9.7-inch iPad 5 units, while Pegatron and Casetek will join in to help the company produce the iPad Mini 2. The analyst believes that Apple will unleash both the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad Mini by the end of this year, but does not give any precise timeframe.
Apple is yet to make any announcements regarding its next-generation iPads, so take things with a grain of salt for now.
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