With the launch of the iPad 4 couple of months ago, Apple has made it evident that it is trying something different with the year-long rotation of its product lines. If a recent report from Asia is to be believed, the Cupertino tech giant is preparing the fifth generation iPad with the release date tipped as March, next year.
A Japanese blog Macotakara report citing inside source claims that Apple would release a thinner and lighter version of the 9.7-inch iPad in March 2013. The report also added that the device would come with a new look, closely resembling the iPad mini with black/slate and white/silver design as in iPhone 5. The report also stated that the fifth generation iPad could measure 4mm in height, 17mm in width and 2mm in thickness.
Athough these numbers are obviously unrealistic expectations for the fifth-generation iPad's actual size, these numbers would make sense in the context of being millimeters smaller in all of the iPad's physical dimensions than the current iPad. Given that the existing fourth generation iPad packs a dimension of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm, subtracting Macotakara's numbers points to a thinner iPad that is slightly shorter and narrower.
If the rumors turn out true, the next-generation iPad could be as thin as 7.2 mm, which is the measurement of the newly iPad Mini.
It is not surprising to see Apple speeding up the release cycles of these products in the face of increasing competition from Android tablets and the large number of Windows 8 tablets that are expected to show up in 2013. It would be great if Apple manages to take care of overheating with the faster hardware, which is a common issue in iPad.