Apple has scheduled a media event for this Tuesday, and there's overwhelming evidence that the company is going to introduce a smaller and faster iPad. Can't wait to learn what's going to be on the docket? Here's what we know...
More diminutive tablets are handily outselling their larger siblings, and so Apple is supposedly planning to have its cake and eat it too: the iPad 5 will have a smaller casing than any of its predecessors (see leaked image at right), but the display size is expected to stay the same: 9.7 inches. This will be accomplished by reducing the size of bezels on either side of the screen.
The 2048 x 1536 (QXGA) resolution of the Retina display is also not expected to change; but the shape of the casing might, with the edges becoming squarer.
There has also been speculation that this tablet will be built around the Apple A7 processor, which recently debuted in the iPhone 5s. Its maker says (and benchmark apps agree) that this has twice the CPU and graphics performance of its predecessor. It is a 64-bit processor, which might help increase the iPad's adoption in the enterprise.
Another feature that some are predicting will make the jump from Apple's latest smartphone is the fingerprint scanner for biometric security.
As far as storage, the iPad 4 was the first tablet from this company to come in a 128GB option. The upcoming edition is expected to, as well.
Apple might tinker with the camera, although studies show this is a little used feature on full-size tablets. It's very unlikely NFC will be included, as Apple has ignored this type of short-range networking.
New Accessories, Too?
The invitation to Apple's event on Tuesday has the tagline "We still have a lot to cover", which could be a reference to new Smart Covers. If the next-generation iPad really is getting trimmed down, then smaller versions of Apple's current magnet-powered covers will also be necessary. But it has been pointed out that if the company introduced a cover with a built-in keyboard it would pull the rug out from under much the advertising done for the rival Microsoft Surface tablet.
If the iPad 5 really is unveiled on Oct. 22, it will probably debut a week later on Oct. 29. If not on that date, then shortly thereafter.
Since Apple introduced its first tablet in 2010, each successive model has carried the same price as its predecessor -- the Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB was $500, the 32GB one was $600, etc. Given this, it's likely the various iPad 5 versions will carry their same prices.
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