If it's spring it must be time for another set of Apple rumors. Many tech bloggers had predicted that the new iPad 5 would be released in March or April of this year, but reports now state that the new 9.7-inch iPad will be coming out as early as September. A report by Examiner set this date based on moves by Walmart to reduce the price of its existing iPad stock.
The new iPad 5 will be 25-33% lighter than the earlier generation of iPads because of a thinner glass for the touchscreen display. Also reducing the weight is one LED light bar instead of the two being used currently, according to a report by Digital Trends.
In addition to cutting the prices of its standard iPads, Walmart also reduced the prices of the iPad Mini, hinting at an upcoming iPad Mini 2. According to an IBTimes report, the new iPad Mini will have better screen resolution at 2048 x 1536, or almost four times crisper than that of the first iPad Mini. It will also have a more powerful processor, 7.9-inch screen, 10-hour battery life, a FaceTime HD camera, and an iSight camera featuring 1080 pixels of HD video recording.
It was obviously just a matter of time before the iPad Mini's functionality matched the iPad regular's. Apple did the same thing when releasing the first-ever iPad without a front-facing camera, even though the company had introduced the feature on the iPhone.
Apple is still the market leader in tablets but its position is no longer secure. Samsung's rise in the tablet market has eroded Apple's market share from 65.3% in the first quarter of 2012 to 39.6% in the first quarter of 2013, according to new numbers from IDC. The numbers also show that Samsung's tablet shipments surged up 283% from last year.
Apple needs the iPads and iPhone 5s launching in 2013 to be unmitigated success after months of chaos within the company. Apple Maps was a complete failure and the company has also been under scrutiny for avoiding $44 billion in taxes.
CEO Tim Cook still leads one of the biggest brands and most successful companies of all time but the company has lost ground from its heydays of smartphone dominance. It might regain some of that hysteria during the launch this fall, especially if it features an announcement about Apple's reported television. Until then, we can only dream.