Will tomorrow’s media event be a watershed moment in the history of the iPad? In a recent note to investors, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White claimed that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPad refresh will be the Cupertino-based company’s most important iPad event since the product was originally launched in 2010.
White believes this iPad refresh is especially significant because Apple’s iPad sales saw year-over-year declines for the first time in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013. However, the analyst expects that the next iPad launch “will help put a bottom in the iPad sales cycle.”
Based on his recent Asian supply chain checks, White believes that the iPad 5 will be 15 percent thinner and 20 to 30 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad. He also predicted that the width of the iPad 5 will be 7 to 10 percent less than the current iPad. These predictions appear to be in line with measurements recently taken by Chinese parts supplier SW-Box.
White also predicted that the iPad 5 will be available in the same space-gray, silver, and gold color options that the iPhone 5S is available in. This contradicts a recent assertion made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who noted that Apple’s gold casing production capacity has likely already been allocated to the iPhone 5S.
Finally, White believes that Apple’s iPad mini will only receive “incremental upgrades” this week. In other words, the iPad mini 2 may not be outfitted with a Retina display. However, unnamed supply chain sources recently cited by the Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple will unveil a Retina iPad mini at tomorrow’s event. Apple is holding its invitation-only media event tomorrow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco.
Besides offering his Apple event predictions, White also reiterated a “Buy” rating on Apple stock.
Here’s how Apple traded on Monday:
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