Apple (AAPL) Rumored To Release 5th Generation iPad in March 2013

The rumor mill is buzzing today about what might be next for Apple (AAPL)’s iPad series, as fresh speculation from Japanese blog Macotakara warns Cupertino intends launching the next iteration of its full-size iPad as early as March 2013. What’s more, iPad 5 is going to be thinner and lighter than the current iPad model.

But before we go any further, it should be noted that when it comes to rumors about prospective Apple developments, Macotakara has had a mixed track record. In any case, the Japanese blog reported, citing people familiar with the matter that the next-generation iPad may be released in March, 2013.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

(via 9to5mac) “According to my inside source, iPad(5th) may be released in March, 2013. Source told that, design of this new iPad will be like iPad mini in detail, and be thinner and lightweight.”

The report also added that the device will be smaller by 4 mm in height, 17 mm in width, and 2 mm in depth than the current models, and that it would come with iPad mini design elements.

Previously, DigiTimes also reported that the upcoming version of the iPad could be released in “Middle of 2013”. Except for the 4th-generation iPad and iPad Mini, which were released on Nov. 2, 2012, new iPads — including first-gen iPad released on April 3, 2010 —  have been traditionally released in the first months of the year.

The same Macotakara report also claims that Apple is working on a 2nd generation of the iPad mini that is said to include a Retina display and a faster A6X processor, both of which are already found in the 4th-generation iPad.

Shares of Apple are up $2.47, or 0.48 percent, to $521.80 in pre-market trading Monday.

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