5th Generation iPad to look more like the iPad mini, Apple’s cheaper iPhone designed with China in mind

Some time ago, Macotakara reported the supposed dimensions and form factor of the 5th generation iPad, suggesting that it would be slightly smaller in size than the 4th generation iPad and have a thin side bezel like the iPad mini. Today, Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge claims to have seen a prototype of the 5th generation iPad, expressing his surprise as to just how much smaller it is compared to the previous generation iPad.

Well, it’s a lot smaller than one would guess was possible: in portrait orientation, picture a 9.7″ screen with virtually no left or right bezels, and only enough space above and below the screen to accommodate the mandatory camera and Home Button elements. Beyond that, it’s noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors.

Horwitz goes on to point out how in order to get decent battery life out of the 3rd and 4th generation iPad with the Retina Display, it had to house a much larger battery, and in order to maintain battery life in a much smaller form factor iPad, Apple would have to use the energy efficient IGZO display from Sharp, because of the limited capacity of the smaller battery.

Most rumours to date have reported a March release for the 5th generation iPad, however, Horwitz believes that supply constraints, especially of the IGZO display (if in fact is the display is being used) will push the release date out to as far as October.

As for the iPhone 5S, it is believed to look very similar to the iPhone 5 except for a larger flash on the back. At this stage, it is believed that it will definitely be launched some time in 2013.

Horwitz also addresses the rumours surrounding a lower cost iPhone. His sources report that it will be ready for a 2013 launch, it will be made of a plastic body (similar to the iPhone 3G and 3GS), and it will be designed with China Mobile in mind (who is the largest mobile phone carrier in the world, with over 700 million subscribers).

As for the infamous “iPhone Math”, Horwitz believes that it is a mistranslation of “iPhone +”, and it is currently a prototype brewing in Apple’s labs that is meant to be a “plan b” in case the larger-screen Android phones gain more traction in the market. Unlike the iPhone 5S and the lower cost iPhone, it is pretty much certain that it won’t be ready for a 2013 launch.

Image from Martin Hajek

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5 responses to “5th Generation iPad to look more like the iPad mini, Apple’s cheaper iPhone designed with China in mind

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