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Production of fifth-gen iPad rumored to begin in July, release could happen in September

Apple's next 9.7-inch iPad, the fifth of its kind, is rumored to enter production as soon as July and start selling in September. 

With more and more technology enthusiasts opting for smaller, lower-end, but also lower-cost tablets, you can say Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad is in a pickle. Probably for the first time in years. And the latest market share numbers are confirming this trend.

But we all know the Cupertino-based iPad manufacturer is anything but a one-trick pony, so chances are the newest full-sized Apple tab will shake things up. How exactly is the fifth-gen iPad going to do that? Hard to say at this point, but based on newly emerged rumors, we’ll find out soon enough.

According to Digitimes, iPad 5 volume production is to get underway sometime in July, which means the newest Apple tablet could be available commercially as soon as September. Granted, the “intel” comes from the online publication’s usually shady “inside sources”, but Digitimes could really be on to something this time around.

Normally, Apple likes to wait 12 full months before launching a new generation of one of its major products (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), which would put the next iPad on track for a release around November.

However, with the company’s market share and sales numbers declining month after month, it’s obvious something needs to be done sooner rather than later if Apple wants to continue its dominant reign over the tablet world.

At the same time, keep in mind that the iPad 4 came less than seven months after its predecessor, so don’t be too shocked if you’re going to see the spanking new fifth-gen iPad on store shelves come August or even July. It sounds unlikely, I know, but just don’t rule it out.

Now, what else do we know about the next iPad besides its likely ETA? Not much, but Apple will almost certainly focus on design tweaks as primary “upgrades”. Specifically, we have numerous pundits telling us the fifth-gen 9.7-incher will be 33% lighter than the current big kahuna and at the same time significantly thinner.

On the flipside, it appears Apple is content with how things stand in the display department, so the iPad 5 will probably boast the same 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution Retina screen as its predecessor. A smaller battery is expected inside the thing too, though chances are the on-board software will be optimized just enough to make the ticker last longer than ever before.

Everything else about the iPad remains up in the air, but again, we're likely closing in on the thing's official intro, so try to be patient for a little longer. 

Source: Apple Insider  via Digitimes

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