What I'm expecting from the 'iPad 5'

What I'm expecting from the 'iPad 5'

Summary: What can we expect from the rumored upcoming iPad 5? Faster processor? Fingerprint reader? More storage options? Cheaper tablets? Here's what I expect from the new iPad.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPad
What an iPad 5 with gold finish might look like
Could Apple be getting ready to release an iPad with a gold finish?

With the new iPhone 5s and 5c handsets out, pundit attention has turned to another of Apple's flagship products, the iPad. Rumor has it that Apple will be unveiling the new iPad at an event on October 22, but as yet even this detail is unconfirmed.

However, assuming that Apple CEO Tim Cook has a new iPad up his sleeve, what might that new tablet bring to the existing iPad line up?

The date: The October 22 unveiling date was first reported by AllThingsD, with a secondary single word confirmation by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Both sources have a good track record when it comes to being able pick out when Apple will unveil new stuff, so I'm also marking this date in my calendar.

The name: The new iPad? iPad 5? iPad 5x? iPad 5s? Your guess is as good as mine, but what's more important to me than the name is the variants that will be offered.

The variants: With the new iPhone Apple reshuffled the variants on offer. Before, Apple would introduce a new iPhone and then make the older version cheaper, thus making iPhones available at a multi-tier pricing structure. But this time around it changed this and released two iPhones – a flagship iPhone 5s and cheaper, colorful iPhone 5c that was based on the iPhone 5.

Could Apple do a similar thing with the iPad? I think it could. Here's how I see things breaking down (I've used the same names as Apple uses for the new iPhone lineup for simplicity):

  • iPad 5s: This would be Apple's flagship tablet, and be the one based on the new tech. I'd expect this to make use of the new A7 64-bit processor (perhaps a modified version, which will more than likely be called the A7x), be kitted out with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the improved iSight camera. I expect battery life to remain at the 10-hour mark. I'm also going to go out on a limb and suggest that it will be offered in the same finishes as the iPhone 5s, which is silver, space grey, and gold.

  • iPad 5c: This will be Apple's budget iPad, taking the place of the existing iPad 2. This will most likely be based on the existing iPad 4, and possibly be revamped to feature the brightly colored polycarbonate shells that the iPhone 5c are offered in. I expect battery life to continue to be in the 10-hour range.

  • iPad mini: Rumor has it that the iPad mini's screen will be bumped up to a retina display, but this could put quite a pressure on the device's battery. I've also heard rumors that the iPad mini would be offered in a range of colors too.

Thinner iPad: Perhaps, but not by much. The switch to the GF2 touchscreens used on the iPad mini might shave a fraction off the thickness of the iPad, but I'm not expecting anything drastic. Keeping the thickness the same, as Apple did with the iPhone 5s, would help maintain backward compatibility with accessories.

Pricing: I expect pricing to stay the same, so given the structure above, starting prices would be as follows.

  • iPad 5s starting at $499

  • iPad 5c starting at $399

  • iPad mini starting at $329

Storage capacity: Apple currently offers the iPad 4 and the iPad mini in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants, with a high-capacity 128GB version of the iPad 4 also available. The bumps in storage from 16GB to 32GB and 32GB to 64GB costs Apple around $10, yet the company charges consumers $100 for the extra storage. This is a lucrative business model that squeezes more cash out of people who make the most use from their iPhones and iPads.

Will Apple give users a break and lift the base model from 16GB to 32GB? Given that it didn't do this with the iPhone, I doubt that we'll see it done for the iPad. It's just too lucrative for Apple to keep things the way they are.

One more thing: Am I expecting Apple to pull some last-minute surprise with the iPad? Not really. Both the iPhone and the iPad are at the state where improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Even the inclusion of a 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5s has more to do with planning for the future than it does in the here and now. 

Don't expect any big surprises.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad

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  • Here we go again. More fawning over a spec upgrade from Apple.

    Let me save you the trouble: Apple will upgrade their existing iPads with better specs. Those specs will be what they will be regardless of your speculation.
    • Personally, I didn't see any "fawning".

      Rather, I saw a pretty well reasoned prognostication of what the next I pad could be based on existing products. At no point did he say, "This will be the greatest thing ever!" but rather clearly stated, "Both the iPhone and the iPad are at the state where improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary."

      All you're doing, Ye, is trolling with the intent to start a flame war--again.
      • Apple fanbois, such as yourself, often cannot see reality.

        At least not when it comes to all things Apple. That's why the term RDF was coined and applied to Apple.
        • Wrong

          Actually, that has NOTHING to do with why the term RDF was coined. Which you'd've known if you'd've bothered to check before you shot off your mouth.
          • Wrong.

          • Simply saying it again does not make it so

            The term was coined in 1981 by Bud Tribble at Apple. It was intended to convey Jobs' ability to make people believe that things they otherwise would have thought were impossible were not only possible, but doable.
            To be QUITE clear, you are not only troll, but someone who talks and talks, but has NO idea what they are talking about.

            You were saying?
    • Nowhere to go

      What about i-smell. What will be the upcharge for lilac?
    • minimal innovation @ Apple

      You know that innovation @ Apple is stagnant when a "gold finish" for the new ipad is the top tech update. IPhones are boring, have glaring security deficiencies and are still just plain old not as functional for business, email or messaging as a BlackBerry. So, while BlackBerry gets raked over the coals for "sales" which still lead some other manufacturers (with billions in the bank) BlackBerry (not Apple) has a full line up of phones, across all market segments with the soon to be released Z30 (Verizon, Telus) and an all new, very good operating system... Apple is busy updating colors and adding gimmicks for security that don't work!

      #Apple #BlackBerry #iphonesecurityflaw #mobile #messaging
    • minimal innovation @ Apple

      You know that innovation @ Apple is stagnant when a "gold finish" Is a story!

      As well, the lack of microSD means iPad users have to update phones and iPads frequently, or use the cloud, but BlackBerry and Android allow expanded capacity with a 20 dollar microSD...

      That and changing cords, and non compatible gadgets mean Apple will be back to the fringes soon! BlackBerry is compatible with chargers, cords and microSD that are widely available!

      #Apple #BlackBerry #iphonesecurityflaw #mobile #messaging
      • Just buy the 128GB version already...

        If you want to maximize your storage, Apple provides some reasonably sized versions of their product. That memory/space is contained on the device, supported by warranty, won't break as you insert or remove it, or the edge of it gets nudged as you use your device. It really doesn't make sense to have a "portable" storage attached to a "portable" device. If you really can not afford the extra price of more space (that is warrantied and won't fail mysteriously, as all SD cards do at some point), then I guess you need to go buy a different product that you can afford.

        Rather than gripe at Apple when they are not like everyone else, and then be dismissive when they add something like everyone else, you should spend your time actually doing something worth while with your life. If you really feel that ashamed of what you have and where you are, that you need to beat people down to feel good, you might need to talk to someone about that too.
        • Apple w/o storage or data ports again

          Your solution is to spend another $100 or 200 per device to get additional storage capacity, non of which is portable to another device or can be reused. Those are dollars permanently lost. One reason I will not use Apple devices as they are currently made.
      • "...Apple will be back to the fringes soon!"

        Wanna bet? Seriously, let's figure out a way to bet on your silly contention that Apple "will be back to the fringes soon."

        Or, are you just another teenager with plenty of opinions and zero business sense?

        I know I should treat you kids with more kindness, but first you have stop advertising your ignorance.

        And you too "ye," your name calling discredits your intelligence.
    • LOL Still with the *Cheaper* meme

      Didn't you learn anythig from the 5c, Apple isn't selling anything cheaper. They will maintain their profit margin or they won't sell it. In 3 years when they have 500 Billion in cash they will either make a killing of of some product or they will just party for 10 years off their bank account.
      • Taxman cometh

        They'll spend it long before they get to $500 B in the bank. There is an "excess accumulations tax," basically a penalty, for holding on to cash in excess of the business needs. The IRS views it as a way to avoid paying dividends, which would be taxable income to the shareholders.
        Robert Hahn
        • The USA Doesn't

          We don't tax offshore corp income and cash holdings, unless that income is brought home. Doesn't matter how much money you're talking about. Stop making things up.

          And even if a foreign subsidairy of Apple has $100B in a USA bank in the USA, that does not make it taxable.
    • Apple update

      The worst thing about a new iPhone or iPad is it won't have all the bells and whistles the tech writers have been promising you. It actually won't have most of what you were waiting for, then some new stuff won't work right or until a major patch a few months later on, etc. Apple will blame it on you, or something other than their hardware or software. Sound familiar. Save your money, keep you Phone 5 and wait until the next upgrade that will really be an update.
    • Don't get too excited about the A7 64 bit processor

      Don't get too excited about the A7 64 bit processor. Apple probably won't use it's capabilities until the next upgrade or IOS update. Software is not ready for it. Specs look good on paper but do you no good if they are not utilized. IOS improvements should be real and worthwhile from what I've read. Other tablets on the market will still outperform the iPad.
    • "Will Apple give users a break and lift the base model from 16GB to 32GB"

      Wow. That was a comment who dosnt at all understand "BIG IT's" push to the cloud.

      If Apple and all the others had their way they would have no more HD then needed to run the OS. They want your stuff, they want you to rent their stuff. Giving a bigger HD just contradicts the whole purpose of the cloud and its proponents.
  • How about these for starters...

    - USB mass storage without iTunes
    - How about USB 3 sync?
    - How about an SDcard slot
    - What about a digital stylus?

    But you know, I'm just one guy thinking out loud. I'm sure the Apple brain trust will have better ideas.
    • Our Only Wish List: USB 3 for the Masses

      Time to embrace USB and getting rid of proprietary connections. Like Apps, it will open up many opportunities for vendors and more choices for customers.

      Apple should consider to move all of their computers, laptops, and everything else to new Apple's processors under same OS architecture.