Apple iPad app developers and builders have been waiting for definitive information on the release date for the iPad 5 ever since its existence was rumoured, shortly after the release of the iPad 4. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, who is an analyst for KGI Securities, the relative success of the Microsoft Surface tablet is forcing Apple to re-evaluate their original strategy to ensure that they continue their domination of the tablet market.
When Apple released the iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad in October 2012, it helped them keep their lead in the tablet market. However, the market has become quite competitive, due to a host of various Android tablet releases, and the entry into the market of the Microsoft Surface tablet. Apple’s next move, according to industry experts and insiders, is projected to be a 9.7 inch iPad 5, which will be thinner than previous generations of iPads.
The iPad 5 is projected to be a lot like the iPad 4, but thinner. Since the iPad 4 had a new processor, the A6X, which is reported to be nearly twice as fast as that in previous iPads, and its new lightning connector, we project that we will see both on the new iPad 5. The same touchscreen technology used on the iPad mini, known as the “GF DITO” OR “GF2,” is expected to be the touchscreen of choice for the new model.
There is possible “wiggle room” for the processor, which may turn out to be an improved version of the A6X. Apple may use one LED bar, subtracting one from the current iPad; this will reduce weight and also allow the iPad 5 to run on a smaller, thinner battery, due to reduced power consumption. According to Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge, the iPad 5 will feature either very thin or non-existent bezels when used in the portrait mode, and barely enough room for the home button, front camera, and sensors.
Some case manufacturers have already come up with designs based on their information of what the finished product will look like. Minisuit has already created iPad 5 cases which appear to be slightly smaller than those created for previous versions of iPad. The cases also have a hole in the back which is purportedly for the microphone, which has apparently been relocated there for the iPad 5.
Another possibility for the iPad 5 is wireless charging. Apple has filed a patent which apparently includes induction coils in its iPad Smart Covers which will allow the user to charge their iPads by closing the cover. The patent is called “integrated inductive charging in protective cover,” and refers to what it calls “an inductive power transmitter” which will “wirelessly pass power” to a power receiver unit located somewhere within the tablet.
So, when can we expect the new iPad 5 to hit the market? The best answer is that there’s no answer. Sources that are considered within the industry to be roughly equal have claimed to have information on release dates in March, April, June, September, and October. In other words, nobody will really have any idea what Apple is going to do. If there’s one thing everyone should have learned by now, it’s that Apple marches to the tune of their own drummer; they do what they want, when they want to do it.
So, what does this mean to iOS developers? We see it as another opportunity to create and develop more apps. With every progression in technology, mobile devices are given more capabilities. Simply put, mobile devices can do more, and this creates an opening for more apps to take advantage of the increased capabilities.
Since it appears that the processor will be extremely fast, it may allow for more elaborate apps to work as well as previous apps you have on previous Apple mobile devices. We cannot say for sure what the finished product is going to look like or what its capabilities will be, but we can definitely project that there will be more reasons and uses for apps.
We recommend buying one as soon as it comes out, downloading some free apps, and seeing how they work. Also, you could find or solicit feedback on what would make a great app by asking people what problems they have on their new iPads, and what they would like those iPads to be able to do.
We say it often here, and we’ll say it again; it’s all a matter of solving problems. Find out what problems people are having and help them. It’s that simple.