Without fail for the past few years, Apple has unveiled a new iPad, although the anomaly was back in 2012 where Apple not just one, but two iPads, along with the first ever iPad mini. What this means is that the timetable for the fifth-gen iPad has been shifted from early 2013 to late 2014.
Apple has yet to send out invites to their event, but the rumors are pointing at a possible 15th of October in which Apple will announce their new fifth-gen iPad and the iPad mini 2. With that being said, we have come across our fair share of leaks, rumors, and alleged specifications of the upcoming tablet, so without further ado, here is what we know of the fifth-gen iPad to date.
However readers should be warned that this is more of a compilation of the rumored specs and images, as opposed to official information, so take everything you read in the following article with a grain of salt.
Apple has pretty much kept the iPad’s design similar over the years which featured edges that were more gently tapered. However with the fifth-gen iPad, there have been rumors suggesting that Apple could adopt the design of the iPad mini and apply it to their latest tablet.
What this means is that the edges of the iPad are expected to be sharper around the back, as opposed to a more gradual edge, and there is a possibility that it could be thinner as well, although we’re not sure whether Apple will be able to do anything about the weight, especially since one of the gripes of the previous iPads was that it was a tad heavier than many would have liked.
The adoption of the iPad mini’s design also hints at thinner bezels for the tablet’s display. Assuming this is true, the fifth-gen iPad will be able to keep its current screen size, but at the same time be a smaller and thinner tablet compared to its predecessors, which is a move we’re sure will be welcomed by many.
When Apple introduced the iPhone 5s, one of new hardware features of the phone was its brand new A7 processor. The rumors are saying that it is likely that the fifth-gen iPad is expected to use the same A7 chipset as well. While the A7 turned out to be a dual-core processor, versus the more “powerful” quad-core processors found on Android tablets and smartphones, it is the first 64-bit processor for smartphones, and we suppose for tablets as well.
With the introduction of the third-gen iPad, Apple finally introduced Retina display to the tablet, giving it a pretty crisp and sharp viewing experience. Apple did not change the resolution on the fourth-gen iPad, and so far there has not been any indication that they are doing any upgrades to the display with the fifth-gen iPad in terms of resolution.
However what might change is that Apple could utilize the same touchscreen technology found in the iPad mini, allowing the display to be both thinner and lighter at the same time. The typical touchscreen uses multiple layers of glass, with one of the layers equipped with touch sensors.
With the iPad mini, Apple has turned to the use of film-based touch panels which are thinner and lighter than glass. This is slightly different from what Apple has done with the iPhone 5’s display where the touch sensors have been embedded directly into the display it.
On the third and fourth-gen iPads, Apple has utilized a 5MP camera which is pretty decent as far as tablets are concerned. However with the fifth-gen iPad, the rumors are saying that we might be able to look forward to an 8MP camera, similar to the one found on the iPhone 5 which if true, would be able to allow the tablet to capture some pretty decent imagery (although some consider it to be a faux pas of sorts to be taking photos with your tablet!). According to KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, the bump to an 8MP camera would be one of the tablet’s selling points.
Battery life on the iPad was never an issue as previous iPads have come with some pretty huge batteries, allowing it to last many hours, even days (depending on how frequently you use it) on a single charge. Both the iPad 3 and iPad 4 featured 11,560mAh battery, but it is unclear if Apple will be making any upgrades to the fifth-gen iPad’s battery as there have not been any rumors on that front.
Like we said, battery life on the iPad has never been viewed as a negative trait so if Apple were to keep the same battery, we’re sure there are some who wouldn’t mind. However if we were to look at the purported design of the tablet, if Apple hopes to keep it thinner than its predecessor, it is unlikely that they will be introducing a larger battery, since a larger battery would not allow Apple to keep the device as thin as it is.
The Touch ID fingerprint sensor made its debut with the iPhone 5s although many are speculating that this is a feature that would eventually make its way into all of Apple’s future devices. We’re not sure if it is too soon for the fifth-gen iPad to sport the technology, but recent rumors have hinted at the possibility of Touch ID arriving for the iPad 5. For those unfamiliar with the technology, Touch ID basically allows the user to scan their thumb/fingerprint as a way to unlock the device, as well as be used for authenticating purchases on the iTunes App Store instead of having to manually enter your password.
As it stands the Touch ID sensor is used by Apple’s native apps exclusively, and it does not seem that Apple has plans to open up the technology to developers in the future.
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt for now, but assuming that any of these rumors are true, the fifth-gen iPad could be a major refresh in Apple’s tablet lineup since the inclusion of the Retina display with the third-gen iPad. Some believe that smaller tablets are the “in” thing these days as they are smaller and lighter than their larger siblings, making them more portable and easier to hold. One of the gripes of the previous iPads was that it was a bit on the heavy side, so hopefully the iPad 5 will be able to address that. Until the official announcement, this article will be updated accordingly with the latest rumors/leaks, so be sure to check back with us often for more updates!