Is Apple Ahead of Schedule Again?

After recent news suggested that the next iPhone might be ahead of schedule, some rumors have suggested that the next iPad might also be on the early end of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) timeline.

Apple fans have had to wait patiently since the iPad Mini came out to get their hands on new devices. Many had their fingers crossed for an iPhone 5S early this summer, but when Apple made its latest earnings call, those hopes quickly fizzled up. Apple announced that it would have new products coming out later in the fall, as well as 2014.

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Jeffries analyst Peter Misek suggested that production of the next iPhone and a low cost iPhone would begin in late June or early July. Misek suggested that 25-30 million iPhone 5 units would be produced in the second calendar quarter, 25-50 million units in the following quarter, and then 60-65 million units in the calendar fourth quarter — just in time for the holidays. Shipment estimates for the second, third, and fourth calendar quarters are 25 million units, 30 million units, and 50 million units, respectively.

Now rumors are suggesting that the iPad 5 could reach production levels in the millions by September. The device could also see some big changes from the prior two models.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo suggested a similar timeline for the product, and he also suggested the device would be a fair bit smaller than prior models. With different production processes going into the screen, the device could also be thinner. A single back-light may be used instead of two, allowing the device to have a smaller battery and reduced weight.

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As portability is of prime importance for mobile devices, the changes to the next iPad could make it increasingly more marketable than previous models. Given that more tablet models are coming out from competitors, it will be important for Apple to continue making tablets that show strong improvements from their predecessors.

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