Analyst: 5th Gen iPad & 2nd Gen iPad mini to Launch in March

New iPads March 2013

Apple will launch an updated fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini this March, according a report Friday from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, as reported by MacRumors. Mr. White based his prediction on information he obtained during this week’s CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A decision to release new iPads this spring would give weight to recent reports from other analysts that believe the Cupertino company is moving to a roughly six-month product cycle for the tablet line. Apple began this possible trend by releasing the fourth-generation iPad only seven months after the third-generation, breaking the once-per-year update cycle the company had traditionally followed.

Aside from indications that the fifth-generation iPad will be thinner and lighter, there are no reports on what other features can be expected in each tablet:

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.

Should Apple move to a shorter release cycle for its iOS hardware line, the company would be better able to adapt to the still-developing tablet market. Although Apple arguably pioneered the product category, it is now facing stiff competition from Android- and Windows-based competitors whose products may not be as polished as the iPad but offer more features at lower prices.