Confirming much of what we’ve heard already, The Wall Street Journal is out with a new report claiming that a thinner, iPad mini-like 9.7-inch iPad 5 is set to be announced during Apple’s Tuesday media event, along with a Retina display-equipped 7.9-inch iPad mini 2.
Of course, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise; for months now, rumors, images, and analysis have all indicated that Apple’s iPad 5 is set to borrow from the design of the first-generation iPad mini.
In this respect, the fifth-generation iPad is expected to feature a thinner bezel, and to be lighter than its fourth-generation predecessor while at the same time offering users the same 9.7-inch Retina display.
The second-generation iPad mini, too, has been discussed at length.
Despite recent concerns, most reports now seem to agree that the iPad mini 2 will indeed feature a high resolution Retina display, while maintaining the appearance of the first-generation model.
As The Wall Street Journal explains:
Apple is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution “retina” display. It’s also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard 9.7-inch iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company’s parts suppliers.
One point of debate, however, is whether the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 will include a fingerprint scanning Touch ID-equipped Home button, like the iPhone 5s.
Though a number of reports claim to offer images of Touch ID-equipped next-generation iPads, a recent research note from the influential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with KGI Securities argues that the fingerprint scanning technology may not launch for Apple’s tablets until 2014.
This, he claims, could be due to “production problems” surrounding Touch ID, which requires a fingerprint scanner, a metallic detector, and a sapphire-coated Home button.
Besides Apple’s next-generation iPads, a refreshed Apple TV may (or may not) be announced during the event, along with an updated MacBook Pro. Apple’s OS X Mavericks and its new Mac Pro are both expected to get release dates, too.
As a reminder, the media event is set to begin at 10 a.m. PDT on Tuesday. We’ll be covering the day’s news from start to finish, so be sure to check back with us.
See also: It Could Be Apple Isn’t Ready To Unveil New Apple TV Hardware Yet, Apple Reveals New iOS 7-Style Icons For iLife And iWork, GarageBand To Go Freemium, and Apple Goes For Gold And Touts Touch ID Feature In First TV Ad For iPhone 5s.