updated 11:59 am EST, Fri January 11, 2013
May support talk of Apple switching to multiple device updates per year
In March, Apple is planning to launch both a fifth-generation full-sized iPad and a second-generation iPad mini, according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim is based on checks with industry sources at CES this week. White mentions few details about the new hardware, except that the fifth-gen iPad will be thinner and lighter than the fourth-gen model, and that he expects the next Mini to keep its form factor, just getting better internal components. There's no indication of whether this might mean a Retina display, as one recent rumor has suggested.
If Apple does bring out new tablets in March, it would represent one of the fastest turnarounds ever for the company's products; the fourth-gen iPad and first-gen Mini were both launched last November. Other reports have hinted, however, that Apple wants to start updating some devices twice a year. Although that strategy would diminish the importance of launch events, it might help Apple better compete against Google's Android platform, which sees a constant stream of new devices from different manufacturers.