Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White today released a new report highlighting some of his observations from this week’s CES in Las Vegas, noting that “checks” at the show suggest that Apple is looking to launch the next-generation versions of the iPad and iPad mini in March.
Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. 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.
White’s comments are in line with a previous report from Japanese blog Macotakarawhich claimed that a thinner and lighter fifth-generation iPad will be launching in March. RBC analyst Doug Freedman had also claimed that Apple was accelerating its plans for the second-generation iPad mini.
Apple has historically stuck to roughly year-long update cycles for its iOS devices, but the company surprised many observers by launching the fourth-generation iPad in October, just seven months after the debut of the third-generation model. It is unclear whether that shorter interval is the start of a trend for Apple, as it may simply have been a one-time event due to Apple’s move to the new Lightning connector.
There have, however, been growing rumors of shorter update cycles being part of a new strategy for Apple as it seeks to remain competitive in the fast-moving mobile device market and smooth out its sales somewhat throughout the year.