Taiwan-based research firm TrendForce believes that a completely redesigned iPad 5 will launch in the third quarter of 2013, reigniting consumer interest in Apple's 10in tablet.
With the launch of the iPad mini in November and a growing number of smaller tablets being unveiled by rival technology companies, industry watchers believed that compact tablets would become the dominant form factor in the market. However, TrendForce analyst Eric Chiou's findings suggest that Apple's overhaul of the full-size iPad could help consumer interest recover, reports BGR.
"Firstly, for the improvement on product design itself, the next-generation of iPad will apply the thin GF2 touch module of the same level as iPad mini and use the narrow bezel panel design to solve the issue of larger volume, thickness, and weight that have been criticized to gain a better balance for consumers in mobility and visual experiences," said TrendForce in a report last week.
It's widely believed that Apple's fifth-generation iPad will take design inspiration from its smaller counterpart.
"Secondly, it is to underline the product positioning, the long-beloved iPad 3 is expected to retire with honor with the reveal of new iPad," the report added.
TrendForce believed that the iPad mini will account for 65 per cent of Apple tablet shipments during the first half of the year, but that the new iPad's launch in quarter three could see a 50/50 divide between the two tablets.
TrendForce also expects that cost reductions for the iPad 5's display could lead to a smaller bill of materials, though it may not mean a price cut for the end user.
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