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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending May 23

John Cox | May 27, 2013
Apple iPad 5 scuttlebutt: Lighter and less filled, September launches, clearance confusion.

Those innovations, though separately small, would add up in reducing weight and possibly thickness. As many have speculated for eight to 12 months at least, the DigiTimes post claims that the Retina display of iPad 5 will have a glass substrate 0.2 mm thinner than the current 0.25 mm substrate for the fourth-generation tablet announced last fall.

Another change is in the touch panel assembly. The current 9.7-inch iPad uses a glass-on-glass bonding, which is comparatively much thicker. If DigiTimes' sources are correct, the iPad 5 touch panel will have a single layer of glass with a two-surface film coating of indium tin oxide (sometimes referenced as double ITO or DITO). Indium tin oxide is used as a transparent conductive coating for touch screens and other displays. It's costly because of the rare element indium. The iPad mini is the first Apple product to use a DITO film instead of a second glass layer, helping to keep the overall display thinner and lighter.

Finally, according to DigiTimes, the Next iPad will have a single LED light bar for the backlight, instead of the two light bars in the current iPad.

If Apple can in fact realize these weight savings, of nearly one-half pound in the best case, that will have a major impact on the user experience, resulting in a tablet that weighs about 15.4 or 17.3 ounces. The current 7.9-inch iPad mini weighs 10.88 ounces.

That reduction in weight and possibly in thickness are key Apple concerns for its mobile devices. The reduction apparently could be done with well-known, scalable display technologies, which Apple has already made use of in manufacturing and selling millions of iPad mini tablets and iPhone 5 smartphones.

iPad 5 will launch in September
Based on exactly the same DigiTimes post (it's amazing how much they get into six paragraphs), the iOSphere did the math and concluded that iPad 5 will launch in September.

iOSpherian math is calculated according to its own unique set of rules.

Here's how things added up for Christian Zibreg at iDownloadBlog: "The fifth-generation iPad is believed to be entering trial production next month, meaning the device should be on track for a rumored September launch," Zibreg announced. "Initial output is pegged at up to three million units until Apple and its manufacturing partners reach yield levels necessary to ramp up production ..."

Here's what the DigiTimes post actually said, in its opening: "Trial production of Apple's 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad will begin soon and volume production will begin in July, with monthly shipments ramping up to 2-3 million units in September, according to sources with Taiwan's supply chain."


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