Updated iPad, iPad Mini coming this March?

January 11, 2013

Remember how mad people were when they found out the fourth generation, full-size iPad was coming out just seven months after they bought the third generation version of the popular tablet?

For those who picked up the fourth-generation iPad: How would you feel if that tablet was deemed obsolete this March?

Well, there are more rumors being started this week. This one by Brian White, the analyst for Topeka Capital Markets. White has been on this site — and many other tech blogs — at one point or another, stirring up crazy rumors that get Apple fans all riled up.

“Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad Mini this March,” White says in his report. “The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first-generation iPad mini that debuted in October.”

As pointed out by MacRumors, the Japanese blog Macotakara also claimed a March launch for the next-generation of iPads.

While my initial reaction to this news was, “There’s no way in hell this is actually happening,” let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute.

If Apple were to release an updated iPad this March, it would make sense that it would be lighter and possible thinner. That’s part of the reason why the iPad mini sold so well. People loved its comfort for reading, emailing, games and web browsing.

As for an updated iPad mini, we can probably expect a Retina display, faster processor and probably a brand new feature that really sets it apart from the original iPad mini. Just as the iPad 2 really up-staged the original iPad, I think Apple has something (possibly TV-related) that could force some people to sell their first generation iPad mini and trade up for something nicer.

I wrote on this site that its Apple’s most comfortable product on the market. While I love my iPhone 5, I don’t feel like it’s the most comfortable smartphone. In fact, I’ll go as far and say my iPhone 4 was more comfortable.

The bigger question about this rumor deals with Apple’s update cycles. Has what used to be a yearly update turned into a 6 month refresh? If that’s the case, it could hurt sales. With new products coming out a couple different times in a 12-month period, hype around those products may diminish.

If Apple does update its iPad in March, I think we will have a pretty good idea on where tax refund money will be going this year.

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