iPad 5 release date, news, rumours and price

Update: iPad 5 unveiled as ipad Air with slimmer design

iPad 5

It is official, the iPad 5 release date will be the 22nd October. This will bring the iPad release schedule back in line to annual releases  following last year’s launch of the iPad 4 and iPad mini just 7 months
after the iPad 3. 

With just mere hours left until Apple unveils its next-generation 9.7-inch slate, iPad fans are eagerly anticipating what new features the iPad 5 will bring.

The latest rumours suggest the iPad 5 will offer a slimmer, thinner form factor than the iPad 4, iPad mini-rivalling bezels and potentially an iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner too.

iPad 5 Release Date

Apple will most likely schedule an iPad 5 release date for around 10 days after tonight’s October 22 event. This would mean you’d be able to buy an iPad 5 from Friday, November 1. This follows the pattern laid out by the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch event and release date timeline.

However, there are rumours that if the iPad mini 2 launches with a Retina display as hoped, it may be delayed due to stock shortages for the smaller, hi-resolution display. This hopefully won’t impact the iPad 5 though.  

iPad release date – May 2010
iPad 2 release date – March 2011
iPad 3 release date – March 2012
iPad 4 and iPad mini  release date – November 2012
iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 release date – November 1 2013?

iPad 5 Dimensions, Design and Weight

Times
have changed and Apple’s once jealously guarded secrets are now
regularly leaked before the device has been officially unveiled.

Leaks regarding the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C
design and finger-print technology proved accurate and plenty of the
iPad 5 leaks that we have seen so far suggest they are accurate.
Particularly around the design and weight.

Rumours and leaks have
practically confirmed that that the iPad 5 will be redesigned in a form
factor that mirrors the iPad mini. Two speaker grilles sit at the
bottom of the leaked chassis, with the lightning connector situated
between them. 

So that means a thinner and much lighter 9.7-inch
tablet. Accessory maker SW-Box posted a video online purportedly
showing the iPad 5 shell beside the iPad mini and iPad 4.

iPad 5: 239mm high 169mm wide 7.2mm – Shell   92g
iPad 4: 241mm high 185mm wide 9.4mm – Shell 146g

iPad 5 dimensions

These
dimensions would make the iPad 5 16mm less wide and 2.2mm thinner than
the iPad 4. While the height remains almost identical it’s the width and
slim form factor that really make a difference when holding a tablet
for extended periods of time. That and the weight.

We don’t yet
know how much lighter the iPad 5 will be, but based on the 54g saving on
just the shell it should be much lighter. That’s no bad thing. The fact
is that at 652g, the iPad 4 is a bit of a porker and lagging well
behind the competition. Apple will want it to compete again and a
25%-33% improvement will see it drop to under the half kilo mark, 100g
less than the Google  Nexus 10 and on a par with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1.

It’s
hard to imagine where the rest of the weight saving will come from
without affecting the battery life or screen quality. A thinner and
lighter battery would make the biggest difference to the weight, as
would changes to the screen’s LED light bars and shaving down the
thickness of the glass.

Aside from being smaller and lighter
than its bigger brother, leaks suggest that the iPad 5 will have a more
translucent Apple logo, similar to those found on a MacBook.

Touch ID
iPhone 5S with touch ID sensor metal ring around the home button

iPad 5 Touch ID

One
of the boldest new additions to the iPhone range was the Touch ID
fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S. Used to unlock the phone with a
simple touch it seems increasingly likely the technology will be added
to the iPad 5.

Having lived with Touch ID on the iPhone 5S we
can attest that it works brilliantly and makes unlocking the device
quick and easy. The limit of 5 fingerprints might be an issue on a
device that that is often used by more than one person. We’d also love
to see profiles make an appearance on iOS 7 so you can provide access to specific apps and features to children, for example.
 

iPad 5 Inductive Smart Cover

Several
Apple patents from as early as 2011 suggest the iPad 5 could come with
an easily attachable and detachable cover. However that’s where the
similarities with the Microsoft Surface end. Apple’s patents point
towards the smart cover having its own rechargeable battery rather than a
keyboard. This would mean that it could act as an additional power
source using induction coils to wirelessly charge the iPad 5.

Generally
battery life on iPads is excellent so this may be a little overkill and
not as useful as a keyboard cover. The less exciting, and more likely,
cover announcement could follow the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S and pair the
iPad 5 with a leather case made by Apple.

Another patent that
has been filed calls for “an audio codec with vibrator support” on its
tablets. The lack of haptic feedback and vibration mode is something a
few of TrustedReviews readers have complained about in the past so a
vibrate mode in the iPad 5 would be a welcome addition. 

iPad 5 Screen

Rumours
so far point to the iPad 5 having the same 9.7-inch screen as the 4.
There has been plenty of noise suggesting Apple is looking to Sharp’s
IGZO screen technology for the next generation of iPads.

Not
only could IGZO help improve battery life by being more efficient, it
would also allow true edge to edge flexible displays which would negate
the need for a bezel. IGZO can also support up to 500 pixels per inch.
That’s almost double the PPI of the iPad 4’s Retina display.

If
Apple could cram that many pixels into a 9.7 inch display it would
surpass the Google Nexus 10 with its 300PPI, however, the likelihood is
that the iPad 5 will keep the same 1536 x 2048 Retina display and not
yet use IGZO.

While we don’t think flexible displays on an iPad
are likely for a good few years there are benefits of having a flexible
display on a rigid device, primarily that flexible screens won’t break
or shatter anywhere near as easily as traditional glass ones. Samsung
has already announced that the Galaxy Note 3 will start shipping with a flexible display for this very reason.

Another
space saver that is almost certain to be included in the screen is a
film-based touch panel, as opposed to the glass panel on the iPad 4.
Film touch panels have traditionally been inferior to glass ones but
this has changed in recent years and the iPad mini already uses this
technology with few complaints.

iPad 5 Price

Unlikely
though it may sound the iPad has actually come down in price since the
first iteration was launched in 2010. However, the iPad 3 and iPad 4
were launched at the same price point for the entry level model and
we’re likely to see a similar pricing model here.

iPad Launch Prices:
iPad 1 – £500
iPad 2 – £445
iPad 3 – £399
iPad 4 – £399

So
for the Wi-Fi only models we’re looking at £399 for the basic 16GB,
£479 for the 32GB, £559 for 64Gb and £639 for 128GB. Add £100 to each of
these prices if you want 4G mobile internet with the iPad 5.

iPad 5 Specs

In
April, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told MacRumors that the iPad
5 will use an Apple A7x quad-core system on chip processor. But hey,
this is the analyst that insisted we’d have the iPad 5 in April.

Aside
from the switch to the lightning connector, the iPad 4 has the A6x SoC
while the iPad 3 had the A5x. Apple claim the A6x has double the power
of its predecessor. That’s held true in a number of tests and is backed
up by the stats. The A6x uses the newer 32nms architecture as opposed to
the A5x’s 45mns. This has allowed Apple to up the clock speed from 1GHz
to 1.4GHz while keeping the chip cool.  

In BrowserMark, Sunspider, GeekBench and GLBenchmark 2.5 egypt classic the A6X doubles the performance of the A5x.

Will
the iPad 5 get an improved CPU? Apple has always improved the CPU with
upgrades to its mobile device product line so it’s highly likely that
the iPad 5 will feature a more powerful processor, and, based on the
iPhone 5S benchmarks, it’s likely to be as impressive an improvement as
it was from the iPad 3 to 4.

In terms of storage we expect the
128GB iPad 4 model to be matched by the iPad 5. 64GB and 32GB versions
are also very likely. Interestingly research conducted by Context into
iPad 2 sales suggests that more than 50% of customers purchase either
the top-of-the-range 64GB 3G model or the barebones Wi-Fi-only 16GB one.
If Apple can match the price of the iPad 4 16GB basic model with a 32GB
iPad 5 then we could see the end of 16GB iPads. 

iPad 5 64-bit Processor

The iPhone 5S has a 64-bit processor and it seems increasing likely that the iPad 5 will follow suit.

A
big-daddy version of the A7 chip on the 5S would mean the iPad 5 will
be significantly faster than the iPad 4 – perhaps as much as twice as
fast. The other benefit a 64-bit processor will bring is improved 3D
capabilities and the ability to quickly compute complex algorithms, for
example those used in the iPhone 5S’s Touch ID scanner.

Will a
64-bit processor on the iPad 5 make a big difference? Probably not
initially but once app developers have had the time to take advantage of
it we should see some impressive new apps.

If you want to know more about the 64-bit processor you can read 64-bit A7 Chip Explained

iPad 5 Gaming

A PS4 or Xbox One it isn’t but Apple is looking to get into gaming in a big way with the iPad 5.

An
upgraded A7x SoC processor would enable more intensive gaming
experiences but it’s iOS7 that will bring the biggest benefits to
gamers.  

Gaming peripheral support will be baked into iOS7 so
iPad 5 owners could conceivable navigate and play games on their tablet
using a controller. Apple hasn’t announced their own hand-held
controller but it’s fair to expect numerous third parties to manufacture
a variety of devices.

Does this mean that the iPad 5 will be
more than just a casual gaming machine? It will depend on app developers
as much as the power of the machine, but we hope so.  

iPad 5 iOS 7 and apps

The
iPad 5 will certainly be running Apple’s 7th iteration of its massively
redesigned mobile operating system. iOS 7 will feature new, flatter,
icons and a design led by Jonathan Ive, the man who was behind the
hardware design of the iPad, iPhone and the original iPod.

There’s
far more to iOS 7 than just an icon redesign. The Camera app has been
completely overhauled and will include Instagram style filters and
quicker and easier social sharing.

Taking a leaf out of
Android’s book, iOS 7 will also feature a turbo-charged notification bar
called the Apple Control Centre, letting you adjust a number of
settings.

Other features include smarter multitasking and a
new-look Safari. There are also reports that the iPad 5 will feature
haptic feedback, something Android tablets have had for a while.

In
addition Apple will be bundling Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto and
iMovie with every iPad 5, potentially making it an excellent
productivity tool.

iPad 5 Camera

If you’re one of those
people who like to take pics by holding your iPad aloft like one of the
Ten Commandments then you’ll be pleased to hear that a camera upgrade is
on the cards. We should see a jump from the 5-megapixel snapper in the
iPad 4 to an 8-megapixel one in the iPad 5. The 1.2-megapixel front
camera may also have a minor upgrade to 1.3-megapixel, or even
2-megapixel.

iPad cameras have always been slightly inferior to
their iPhone contemporaries which suggests it might get a similar
snapper to the one in the iPhone 5C. The case leaks show no sign of a
flash so it’s highly unlikely one will be included on the iPad 5, let
alone the True-Tone dual LED flash on the iPhone 5S.

Should I wait for the iPad 5 release or buy the iPad 4 now?

Rumours
have confirmed that the iPad 5 will be significantly smaller and
slimmer than the iPad 4 and will share more design aspects with the iPad
mini than it does with its predecessor. It looks like it will be a real
game-changer that may well claw back some of those punters who may have
jumped ship to Android.

The iPad 5 will have the same screen
size but be more compact than previous versions. One of the main
complaints about the iPad 4 is its weight so this is a very good thing.

With
only a few weeks before the new iPad 5 is announced it would be madness
to buy and iPad 4 now, unless you have a raft of accessories to go with
it from and older iPad.

iPad 5 – Should I upgrade?

If
you’ve got the iPad 4 then it’s probably not, unless the size and weight
of it are major issues. Aside from the new design the biggest changes
are likely to come with iOS 7, and the iPad 4 runs that just fine.
If the dimensions are different, as we’d expect, then that also means
you will need to fork out for a new keyboard case, if you already have
one that is.  

The story is a little different if you own the
iPad 2 or 3. Both these tablets have got the iOS 7 upgrade and in our tests we haven’t experienced any performance issues. Some of the more demanding apps on the market will challenge the iPad 2, but the iPad 3 fares better, thanks to its more powerful CPU and GPU.

If you’ve got the iPad 2 the other thing to consider is the significantly improved screen. The difference between the iPad 3,4 and 5 won’t be that great, but the jump from the iPad 2 to the Retina display of the iPad 5 may well be worth the upgrade alone.

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