For the second time in two months, it's Apple time.
Apple will hold an event in California on Tuesday morning, when it is expected to unveil two new iPads. Specifically, rumors suggest that the company will introduce a faster fifth-generation iPad, an iPad mini 2 with an improved high-definition display and a new iMac and Mac Pro.
So: What, specifically, can you expect from those new iDevices? Well, with a special focus on the two updated tablets, here's what we're looking for on Oct. 22, based on all the leaks and gossip in the ever-active Apple rumor mill. (Oh, and we'll have live coverage of the event itself right here.)The new iPad 5 (or fifth generation) will look a whole lot more like a larger iPad mini, with the side bezels on the new iPad shrunken down quite a bit, reports BGR. That will be the big cosmetic change; and, according to the Wall Street Journal, though Apple's full-size tablet will feature the same 9.7-inch LCD Retina display as its predecessor, it should be lighter and a bit thinner, too, thanks to new in-screen technology.
If Apple does indeed do a keyboard cover, I assume it would be iPad 5-exclusive. Also, I’m not sure if Apple would do this at all. We’ll see— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) October 21, 2013
THE NEW IPAD MINI
As for the iPad mini 2, Reuters has reported that Apple also plans to add high-definition Retina displays, addressing a major perceived weakness of the first version of Apple's smaller iPad; shortages in component manufacturing, however, may delay the large-scale release. If that's true, it could mean long lines and wait times for the new iPad mini when it is first available.
Videos and images of the alleged casing materials of the new iPad and iPad mini, courtesy of iPhone 5s and 5c rumor source Sonny Dickson, show that the color options may match some of the new iPhone 5s options, coming in "Space Gray," gold and silver. And though there's been much speculation about whether the new iPads will come packed with Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the video below, from Unbox Therapy's Lewis Hilsenteger, shows that the casing for the new 9.7-inch iPad he was able to get his hands on fits perfectly with the Touch ID component pulled from his iPhone 5s.
This image from CtechCN.com shows an iPad mini without Apple's new Touch ID home button
Touch ID on the iPad mini may be a different story, though. A supposed freshly leaked picture of Apple's new devices shows the iPad mini conspicuously lacking a Touch ID home button, as reported by ZDNet. It wouldn't be a big surprise for Apple to short the specs on the smaller version of its tablet device; the original iPad mini was launched last year with a lesser processor and lower screen resolution than its big brother.
Apple's newest iPad has traditionally been shipped with the latest installment of its A-chip processor — iPad 2 debuted the A5, iPad 3 the A5X, and the fourth-generation iPad the A6X — but the iPad mini was introduced last year with the year-and-a-half-old A5. This time around, analysts say Apple plans to bring all new devices up to speed with its 64-bit architecture, with either an A7 or A7X processor. Dickson has also tweeted that the iPad mini will ship with a 64-bit A7 processor. The cameras on the new iPads may also get a spec bump, bringing them up to speed with the new iPhone 5s shooter, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "We expect the upgrade will include 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, and larger aperture. Lens module ASP will rise 10-20% on this optics spec upgrade," he said in a report obtained by 9to5Mac.
As always, you can expect the new iPad mini to cost just as much as the old one does now (starting at $329), and for the new iPad to cost just as much as the old one does now (starting at $499). And you're probably looking at a release date of Friday, November 1.
The Oct. 22 Apple event will fall on the same date as Microsoft's release of the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Will you be out grabbing a Surface, or will you be waiting to see what Apple actually delivers before making your next tablet decision?
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