Renowned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has disclosed what he believes will be Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new product release schedule for the next several quarters, reports Apple Insider. Based on his supply chain checks, Kuo believes that the Cupertino-based company’s suppliers will start shipping components for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 sometime late in the third quarter of this year. For this reason, the analyst doesn’t expect that the mass production of these devices will begin until the fourth quarter of 2013.
This is in line with other Apple commentators’ predictions that Apple would not be unveiling any new iPads at its scheduled September 10 media event. Kuo’s most recent research note also reiterated his previous predictions that the iPad 5 would borrow design elements from Apple’s iPad mini.
Via Apple Insider, Kuo also noted that the iPad 5 will feature TDD-LTE support, which will make the upcoming tablet compatible with China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) network. Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, is expected to produce all of Apple’s new full-sized iPads.
According to Kuo, Apple is planning to release two versions of its next-generation iPad mini. Like the iPad 5, the first iPad mini model will be released sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. The initial iPad mini 2 will be upgraded with a Retina display that will be powered by a faster A7 processor.
Kuo believes that Apple was forced to accelerate its original launch schedule for the Retina iPad mini 2 after several competitors released their own high-definition small tablets. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released the Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet with a high-definition display in July, while LG recently announced the G Pad 8.3 with a similarly high display resolution.
Kuo also predicted that Apple will release a non-Retina version of its iPad mini 2 in 2014. That model will feature the same display and processor found in the current iPad mini. According to Kuo’s industry sources, the production of the two iPad mini models will be divided between Foxconn, Casetek, and Pegatron. However, Kuo believes that Pegatron will handle the lion’s share of the iPad mini production, with up to 75 percent in the third quarter and up to 85 percent in the fourth quarter.
Although Apple’s June quarter results revealed that its iPad shipments fell to 14.6 million last quarter from 17 million in the year-ago quarter, it should be noted that Apple still dominates the worldwide tablet market. According to IDC data, Apple held a 32.4 percent share of the global tablet market in the second quarter of 2013.
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