At the iPhone 5 event this year, Apple introduced some hardware design changes to its latest smartphone as well as the redesigned iPod touch and nano devices. The company moved away from the Universal Dock connector to include a new, smaller Lightning connector. The iPad, however, continues to have the old dock connector. But that may now change.
If reports from 9to5Mac
are true, then Apple is expected to launch a new version of the 9.7-inch tablet featuring the Lightning connector and other internal enhancements at the upcoming iPad mini event.
An SKU list posted on the blog shows that as far as pricing of the redesigned third generation iPad is concerned, it is expected to be the same as the current versions. Storage options are also likely to be retained at the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. The device may also have extended support for some of the the LTE networks in countries other than the US.
Apple will announce a refreshed version of its full-sized, 9.7-inch Retina display iPad at its media event October 23rd, according to our sources. These people say that the new version of the iPad will retain the same $499, $599, and $699 WiFi-only price points, and the LTE line will retain the current $629, $729, and $829 pricing. With no price changes or additional storage capacities, we believe that the storage options of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB will also be retained.
Other rumours doing the rounds suggest that the tweaked version of the new iPad may include the IGZO display technology, certain backlight changes and maybe even incorporate Apple's new A6 chip found in the iPhone 5, though we are not entirely convinced Apple will introduce any major changes in the new iPad.
Other launches expected at the October 23 event are new iMac desktops, expected to go on sale the day after the event, new Mac minis and also the 13-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro.
In other tablet news, a new product SKU list
mentioning 24 models for the 7-inch iPad mini earlier leaked online. The list hints that the the smallest-capacity iPad mini could debut with only 8GB of storage, which will be a first timer for an Apple tablet considering that the larger 9.7-inch iPad starts at 16GB. Other capacities to follow could be 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.