Software and mobile manufacturer Apple is reportedly on its way to unveil a thinner version of its flagship iPad tablet along with a high-resolution iPad Mini.
The new iPhone will be unveiled at a Sept. 10 event. Updated iPad models, including an iPad with a thinner body design and an iPad mini with a high-resolution screen will be unveiled later, two people said. Software for the devices, as well as for Mac computers, will also be revamped, Apple said in June.
One Bloomberg source said the next-generation iPad will take its design cues from the current iPad mini, including a thinner side bezel and rounded corners. There have been a number of supposed parts leaks, as well as analyst predictions, regarding Apple’s next iPad, most of which point to a redesigned exterior and enhanced innards.
In another report Monday, the Wall Street Journal suggests the 9.7-inch iPad will sport a thinner design, made possible with the use of a film-based touch panel (beneath the cover glass) like the one found on the iPad Mini, instead of the thicker and heavier glass-based touch panel currently used.
For its upcoming device, component manufacturers in Asia have reportedly been told Apple is planning to use screens from Samsung, LG and Sharp.
The move is aimed at fending off increasing competition from Google, which recently revealed its new Nexus 7 tablet, which has a high resolution screen.
After all, the 1900-by-1200 HD display on the Nexus 7 works out to a super-fine 323 pixels per inch, while the 7.9-inch, 1024-by-768 iPad mini has just 163. This means that Apple will essentially have to double the tablet’s resolution while keeping the size the same.
The current iPad mini has a lower resolution screen that Apple’s full sized iPad, which boasts a ‘retina’ display. Apple’s current iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch 1024×768 resolution screen – this gives the tablet’s screen 163 pixels per inch (PPI).
Retina display is a brand name used by Apple for their liquid crystal displays, in which pixelation is imperceptible to the human eye. Other brands also offer higher resolution screens, marketed simply as high definition.
Some commentators have suggested executives at Apple fear an iPad Mini with a Retina display may serve to cannibalize sales of the more lucrative full-size iPad, but with consumers apparently rather taken by the smaller form factor, it may be the only way to go, says Digital Trends.
Bloomberg reports that “Apple’s share of the tablet market slid to 32 percent in the second quarter, from 60 percent a year earlier, according to market-research firm IDC.” So releasing two revamped tablets should be exactly the one-two punch Apple needs right about now.
“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally has helped both Apple and its competitors, said Tom Mainelli, a research director at the International Data Corporation.
“With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said the company will introduce new products starting in the fall and “across 2014.” Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment.