The rumor mill is once again turning its focus on Apple and its iPads. This time, the latest report indicates that Apple may be refreshing its iPad lineup soon. Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets claims that the fifth generation iPad and second generation iPad mini are coming in March.
"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."
A thinner and lighter iPad 5 has been reported previously by Macotakara's inside source in December 2012. It is alleged to come with a design similar to the iPad mini, and sports a chassis which is 4mm shorter, 17mm narrower and 2mm thinner than the current 9.7-inch iPad. Another analyst at KGI Securities also expects a thinner and lighter iPad early this year to fend off competition from Microsoft's Surface tablets.
White's report does not include specific information on the second generation iPad mini, but Apple is expected to include a Retina display and a faster processor since the Android camp is already offering alternatives with superior displays and faster internals.
As we've mentioned before, Apple seems to be adopting a more aggressive product refresh cycle to keep up with the competition. Launched in September 2012, the 4-inch iPhone 5 looks increasingly outdated by the recent entry of 5-inch smartphones at CES 2013 such as the Sony Xperia Z and Huawei Ascend D2. It remains to be seen how Apple's legion of loyal supporters will react to a change in its market strategy.