iPad 5, Mini 2, Low-Cost Mini Release Date Rumors: Three Releases Expected
Apple is expected to release a low-cost iPad Mini along with the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 within the next six months, according to recent rumors. The decision to release a cheaper iPad Mini would be similar to the tech giant's rumored plans to unveil a low-cost iPhone alongside the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 in 2013.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a recent research note that he believes Apple will not release any new iPad Mini models in 2013, but will release a cheaper iPad Mini alongside the Mini 2 in March or April of next year. According to Kuo, current production status indicates that Apple would not be able to release any iPad Mini tablets until December of 2013 at the earliest.
While it is expected to be cheaper, Kuo doesn't see the low-budget iPad Mini to sell for much less than the current model, which starts at $329.
If Apple's plans are to release the low-budget Mini next to the Mini 2 with Retina Display, technical issues could certainly push the release date back, according to Kuo, as the rumored 7.9-inch Retina is requiring Apple to redesign all components in an effort to improve power efficiency.
A few months ago, Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung stated that he believes the tech giant is readying the release of the iPad 5, iPad Mini 2 and a rumored cheaper iPad Mini for debut in 2013.
Once the iPad 5 is released, Apple will cease production of the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini 2, which could change the pricing lineup for Apple's tablet devices, according to Yeung.
He also estimated that the iPad 5 will get a release date in the second half of 2013.
The new, full-size Apple could even go by a different name—the iPad 'Maxi.' The 5, or Maxi, is rumored to have a 12.9-inch diagonal screen, improved clarity, 10 hours of battery life, a reduced battery size, a lightweight display, A7X processor and both front and rear cameras.
The second-gen Mini is reported to feature a resolution of 2048 x 1536-four times the res of the current Mini and equal to the current iPad 4.