by Joe White
September 5, 2013
In a new research note, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo argues that Apple is looking to launch both a fifth-generation iPad and a second-generation iPad mini before the end of this year. Both iDevices will, Kuo estimates, be powered by a new Apple A7X processor, and the iPad mini 2 is expected to feature a high-resolution Retina display. The news of Kuo's research note reached us from MacRumors, who explains:
Kuo believes that both devices will run on a new A7X chip, with the new iPad mini seeing a significant processor upgrade from the A5 found in the current model to help support a Retina display in the forthcoming model. For both the new iPad and iPad mini models, Kuo sees component shipments ramping up through the end of this quarter, with mass production gearing up in the fourth quarter of the year, in line with previous expectations for a fall launch.KGI Securities also compares shipping results and estimates for Apple's line of iPads. As you can see, the availability of next-generation 9.7- and 7.9-inch models is expected to drive sales in the fourth quarter of 2013. Kuo also argues in his research note that Apple had planned a 2014 release for the iPad mini 2, but due to the availability of high-resolution rival tablets, the Cupertino, Calif. company has accelerated development in order to make the product available in 2013:
Since iPad mini 2 will feature better resolution with retina display, we think its AP will have the same grade as iPad 5 - the A7X. But we now believe that iPad mini 2 may be pulled in for launching in late 2013. Since other brand vendors are all expected to have a line-up of new high resolution 7-8” tablets to launch over the next 3-6 months, we think iPad mini 2 may lose its opportunity in the market if it is slated for introduction next year. Despite minimal form factor differentiation and unchanged casing colors, we think the retina display will still boost iPad mini 2’s attractiveness. Although the model’s availability is small due to production issues, if iPad mini 2 gets an introduction and launch this year, it should be able to impact consumers and freeze their budget for other brand vendors’ tablets.Finally, Kuo also believes that Apple is working on a new iPad mini model for release in 2014. This tablet, however, would be powered by an Apple A6 processor and would not feature a Retina display, thereby providing customers with a low-end iPad mini option. Apple is holding a special media event on Sept. 10, and it could be that we hear something concerning the Cupertino, Calif. company's next-generation iPads then. If not, it's likely that Apple will make further announcements later in the year. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: Apple To Enable iOS-Inspired Safari Push Notifications For Developers In OS X Mavericks, Cydia Tweak: CamBright May Help You Take Better Pictures, and Today's Best Apps: Photofy, FlowDoku And AVG PrivacyFix.