DigiTimes is reporting that Apple will soon begin trial production of the new 9.7-inch iPad 5, with mass production starting up in July, according to supply chain sources in Taiwan. The report says that the smaller, thinner iPad will be available as soon as September, maintaining the 2,048 x 1,536 Retina display of the current iPad but using new technology that will enable the tablet to be thinner and lighter than the current model:
“The new display is built on a glass substrate of 0.2mm, thinner than the 0.25mm one for the 4th-generation device, the sources said, adding the new table will has a narrow bezel. The touch panel solution for 5th-generation iPad is GF2 (1 layer of glass and two layers of ITO film) instead of G/G bonding used in 4th-generation iPad, the sources added.
The new iPad will use one LED light bar for backlighting, compared to two LED light bars used in 4th-generation iPad, the sources noted. The 5th-generation iPad is estimated to be 25-33% lighter than the 4th-generation one, the sources indicated.”
This report lines up with several rumours over the last few months, all of which suggested the new iPad will take design cues from its little brother, the iPad mini. It’s expected that the new iPad will feature thinner bezels on either side of the screen, as well a thinner shell that curves in a similar way to the mini.