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Great Expectations: Apple’s iPad Event

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When Apple released its new iPhone models six weeks ago, consumers expected CEO Tim Cook to unveil new versions of the iPad as well. However, the last event was iPhone specific, leaving users to speculate on a release date for the new iPad. Now that Apple has announced its event tomorrow, it’s widely accepted that the company will release what will be the fifth generation iPad, and an update to the iPad mini. According to businessweek.com:

“New iPad! The standard-size iPad is expected to get a new, slightly thinner shape that’s more in keeping with the design of the iPad Mini. Inside, the iPad will get a new processor based off the A7 64-bit chip that’s already in the iPhone 5S. As is Apple’s custom, expect the iPad version of that chip to be called the A7X, which gets tweaks to support the much larger display on the iPad. Given that the iPhone 5S has a better camera than its predecessor, it’s likely the same hardware will be added to the iPad as well. A couple of questions: Will the iPad also get the iPhone 5S’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor? Will there be a gold iPad?

“New iPad Mini! Apple’s very successful smaller tablet will also get some changes. It’s still running the two-generations-old A5 processor, so it’s almost certain to get an upgrade. But to what? The smaller Mini doesn’t necessarily require the computing horsepower that the standard iPad does (smaller display = fewer pixels to keep track of = easier load on the processor), so it may not make the leap to the expected A7X chip like the iPad. Instead, the Mini may make do with the A6 chip that’s in the iPhone 5C (with a possible tweak or two to justify calling it the A6X). The other big question is about the Mini’s display. Currently, it lacks the higher resolution of Apple’s Retina displays, which appear on the iPhone 5S and 5C, the full-size iPad, and a MacBook Pro. It seems like it’s the Mini’s time, particularly since its competitors already feature higher-resolution screens. Touch ID seems less likely here, but we may see a further proliferation of silver, gray, and gold.”

This iPad refresh will be one of the most important since the iPad 2 was released. The 3rd and 4th generation iPads are generally viewed as evolutionary, as they only had slight upgrades to the screens and processors. The new iPad is expected to boast a new form factor, which will be a big deal.

Aside from the new iPads, Apple is also expected to release the new Mac Pro and new Mac operating system, Mavericks.

The iPad event will take place tomorrow and is expected to be streamed online at apple.com.

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