iPad 5: release date, pricing and possible features

by , Senior Technology Researcher Apple 16/04/2013
iPad fifth generation

The iPad 5 is set to arrive later this year but what can we expect the forthcoming tablet? Stiff competition from the likes of Google and Samsung means Apple could unveil finger-print locking and wireless charging as a way to trump its rivals. We investigate the iPad 5′s likely release date, pricing and more possible features…

Read our tablet buyer’s guide for expert advice on whether to choose an iPad or Android tablet.

When will the iPad 5 be released?

It’s likely that the new iPad will make an appearance in the Autumn of 2013, a year after its predecessor. Sometime in October sounds about right. The iPad mini is also likely to get an upgrade at the same time.

How much will the new iPad cost?

The current iPad comes in at £399, so we expect the iPad 5 will set you back £400 plus. Since the iPad is a premium product and is selling well, it’s unlikely to drop in price. If you’re after a cheaper iPad – wait until the latest version is released and then buy the fourth gen – just as the iPad 2 is available for £80 less than its fourth gen successor.

So what’s next for the iPad?

Finger-print locking – it might sound a bit James Bond, but Apple has been working with an Australian firm to develop fingerprint readers. So instead of unlocking your iPad or iPhone using a PIN, all you’ll have to do is press your finger to the reader. This should improve security as nobody else will be able to hi-jack your device.

A change of shape – images of the iPad 5′s casing have been leaked on the internet and reveal a narrower, shorter tablet. This would make its shape more akin to that of the mini.  Since Apple commonly promotes a family resemblance across its product range, this seems a likely design update.

Wireless charging - rumour has it that Apple might equip the new iPad Smart Covers with technology that allows for wireless charging. Simply snap the cover shut and charge will transfer to your device.

What can we expect from the new iPad mini?

An improved screen – we reckon there will be a screen upgrade on the next iPad mini to bring it up to date with Apple’s Retina screen technology. The screen quality is good at the moment – but an improved display would mean the pixels are so dense you wouldn’t be able to see them at a normal viewing distance.

A little thicker - the mini might become thicker to accommodate this improved screen technology and the more beefy battery required to power it.

More on this…

One comment

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haggis

Fingerprint scanning – Still not a rock solid technology, almost technology for technology’s sake for a tablet (unlike Apple) just don’t think we’ll see it yet.
Different shape – might have a slimmer bezel but it will still have the retina display and be just about as thin.
Wireless charging – perhaps, but then all that effort to develop the new connector in the iPhone 5. I think they’ll stick with that and leave wireless until later.

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