We’re sure there are hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions, who have just unwrapped their iPads and enjoying them immensely. And they’ll enjoy them up until about March, according to rumors that started circulating pretty much the microsecond Christmas fired up.
Hate to say it, but the word has hit via Japanese blogs:
Apple is prepping a thinner, lighter fifth-generation iPad that shares some of its design cues with the recently released iPad Mini, according to Japanese blog Macotakara… The report also calls for the next iPad Mini to be released with a Retina display, following other similar reports. The addition wouldn’t be surprising, as it was a key missing feature with the original iPad Mini.
This actually makes sense in terms of Apple’s product release cycle, which generally puts out new stuff in March. It also makes sense in terms of the products in question. The iPad 4 is little more than the iPad 3 with a faster processor, and the iPad Mini is just an iPad 2 with a few inches missing. Both of these are fairly obviously stopgap products to fill in a release cycle while something better is coming along sometime in 2013.
On the other hand, it pretty much bones anybody who got an iPad for Christmas and was hoping it would stay current before summer.