During an announcement event centering around the new, 7.85″ iPad mini, Apple may spring another surprise on us with the introduction of a revised, fourth-generation standard 9.7″ iPad. The refreshed iPad would boast features that bring it in-line with Apple’s latest technologies, including a further-improved display. Admittedly, it would make sense for Apple to share iPad mini’s spotlight with its trend-setting precursor.
If Apple were to break the 9.7″ iPad’s release cycle, the move would at the very least add the much-speedier A6 chip found in iPhone 5 that Apple designed in-house. Those in need of another Lightning cable around their house can rejoice since the new iPad would also include the shrunken Lightning connector.
As its products are getting diminutively thin, it should also come as no surprise that the fourth-generation iPad will take further steps to downsize. The addition of Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO display technology would contribute to a thinner, possibly improved Retina Display. As a result of this along with further component changes, battery life could also be improved.
Utilizing a chip similar to what is found in iPhone 5, international 4G LTE support would also be added to the new iPad. More color options could also find their way into the mix, if recent product launches are any indication.
Part numbers have leaked for the iPad mini and what has been speculated to be a new iPad, adding to the release fire with 12 different SKU numbers for the mini joining 12 for what may be its full-sized 9.7″ alternative.
Editor’s take: As the majority of its lineup’s upgrades have been moved to a fall timeframe, it does seem sensible that Apple could decide to move one of its hottest-selling devices to right before the holiday season as well. After all, who wants to give an iPad knowing that it will be vastly improved in the spring?
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