Apple’s iPad: A rumor roundup

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS - Above, the Apple logo hangs in a glass enclosure above the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York in this September 20, 2012 file photo.

With Apple’s latest iPhone launch in the rearview mirror, an Apple fan’s thoughts turn naturally to tablets. Last year, the company introduced two new tablets in October — the fourth-generation iPad and the iPad mini. Speculation is flying that the firm will have more tablet announcements this year, ramping up the tablet battle for the holiday season. Here’s a look at some of the speculation about future iPad models.

When will we see what Apple’s planning?: Last year, Apple hosted an event that featured new iPads and Macs on Oct. 23, a week after sending media invites. This year, speculation fueled by the French site MacGeneration — which has been a source of both good and bad rumors in the past — suggests that the event will take place Oct. 15.

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What will we see?: The most obvious update would be to give the iPad mini the high-resolution “retina” display from the full-sized model of the iPad, putting the mini in even closer competition with similarly sized tablets from competitors such as Google, Samsung and Amazon.

Reuters reported Tuesday, however, that the Apple supply chain may not be able to make enough of the sharper iPad mini displays for a wide rollout any time soon. Citing sources who work with Apple to supply parts for its gadgets, the report said that the mini could miss the holiday season completely.

Apple declined to comment on the report.

According to 9to5 Mac, a new, retina iPad mini isn’t expected to have Touch ID, though Apple has reportedly been testing both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the tablet. A new, full-sized iPad may also get the 64-bit upgrade, the report said. Plus, there may also be a non-retina iPad mini with a faster processor.

Anything else? Apple was relatively quiet in the first half of the year, but it’s making a lot of noise lately. The company has a few as-yet unreleased products, such as the redesigned, cylindrical Mac Pro and its new Mac operating system, Mavericks, announced at Apple’s summer Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple-focused blogger John Gruber said he guesses that these products will launch at the same time as the new iPads. Over at 9to5Mac, however, Marc Gurman notes that in addition to new desktop Macs, Apple is also expected to upgrade its MacBook Pros, Apple TV hardware and first-party software — cramming a lot into a single event.

Gurman said that he thinks it would make more sense for Apple to make an iPad/iOS-focused announcement in October, and then another announcement for Macs/OSX a few weeks later.

So, even if Apple is planning an announcement soon, there is some speculation that it won’t be the last big event we see out of Cupertino this year.

 
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