Tomorrow Apple is expected to announce the 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad Mini to U.S. consumers. Already a number of rumors have been confirmed through leaks, and we can pretty much anticipate that both models will be lighter, slimmer and faster. We’re almost dead sure that both iPads will integrate the new Touch ID security sensor, and there’s the strong certainty that both devices will maintain their respective 9.7-inch and 7.9‑inch displays. However, it’s expected that the iPad Mini 2 will showcase the same sharp Retina Display as its larger sibling, which gives iPad Mini fans a big reason to line up at an Apple Store in November.
Since Apple’s executive team and designers have repeatedly stressed that iOS 7 was created primarily to take advantage of the powerful A7 64-bit processor, the other certainty is that the both iPads will feature the new chipset, including the M7 co-processor. It seems unreasonable to expect that the iPad Mini would come with anything less as this would be a huge misstep for Apple, which is already under the diamond-sharp scrutiny of Wall Street analysts and the greater tech world.
There are three rumors we think bear greater scrutiny before the big announcement. One seems clearly illogical, while one has some minor merit, and the last seems very plausible if Apple wishes its iPad line to remain competitive in a crowded tablet marketplace.
I’ve also included a bonus rumor for the coming year that seems slightly plausible considering the “bigger is better” movement in the tech world; however, I’ve steered the rumor in a different direction, one that I think is a bit more logical for Apple to consider.
Apple Will Launch An iPad Mini C / Mini S
Apple already kinda bombed out this year with the iPhone 5C… to the point of scaling back production. I think it’s unlikely Apple will attempt this with the iPad line. Wall Street had clamored for Apple to sell cheaper iPhones, especially abroad, but the iPhone 5C (for color!) was neither cheap enough nor distinctive enough to capture the consumer imagination. That said, some folks think colorful iPad Minis, with all specs similar to the current iteration, a keen idea no matter how wrong-headed it might be for Apple.
Both iPads Will Be Available In Gold
This may not be as likely as it seems. Though apparent images of a gold iPad / iPad Mini have been leaked, other sites have claimed that we’ll only see the two iPads updated to silver and Space Grey colors. This actually seems likely, as the iPads do represent a different line than the iPhone, and the golden iPhone is pretty limited in terms of aesthetic taste. I think the safer bet is that Apple will showcase only two shades in the premium metallic back casing.
A Better Camera For Both iPads
Some Apple analysts expect both iPad upgrades to include more robust camera specs including an 8MP rear camera (from the current 5MP), and a significantly larger aperture (possibly on par with the iPhone 5S’s ƒ/2.2) and feature a larger lens and sensor (possibly 10-20 percent larger). However, while the consensus is that Apple will increase the number of megapixels and CMOS sensor size (for greater pixels size) on both the iPad and iPad Mini, the upgraded devices still won’t feature an LED flash, let alone the new dual-LED True Tone flash that the iPhone 5S sports.
…And, Already A Rumor For 2014
Plenty of sites are reporting that a long-rumored iPad Maxi will make its debut in 2014 after a January announcement by Tim Cook. The expected size would be 12.9, and some think it would come with a detachable keyboard and compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface tablet, even though that device didn’t sell particularly well and Microsoft had a quiet fire sale to get rid of excess inventory. Not a good sign.
Apple already has an extremely light laptop in its Macbook Air, and though it lacks a touchscreen, once Mavericks, the upgrade to OS X, is released, it will share plenty of similarities with mobile iDevices, yet offer much more versatility than an iPad.
If Apple were to make bigger iPads, I’d expect them to go VERY large with an HDTV sized tablet for living room or corporate boardroom use which makes far more sense than the type of Apple HDTV that’s also been grist for the rumor mill.
Christian Hokenson is a writer based in Burbank, CA. He's interested in technology, movies, and home entertainment. If you're nice to him, he might buy you ice cream.