Next iPad rumored to be 33% lighter and thinner thanks to new touchscreen tech

By on May 21, 2013, 3:00 PM

Despite rumored supply constraints, Apple's fifth-generation iPad is to purportedly begin trial production in July. This information originates from the latest crop of rumors by Digitimes, citing its usual assortment of supply chain insiders. Volume production of the fifth-gen iPad is expected to begin later in July, with production ramping up between 2 and 3 million units by September.

Arguably the most compelling facet of the report though is the new iPad's rumored lightness -- sources claim the fifth-gen device will shed anywhere between 25 to 33-percent of the weight found on current models. A change in the tablet's touchscreen design is expected to account for most of the weight loss.

Reportedly, Apple's new display will employ a GF Ditto (GF2) design rather than the G/G touch structure utilized in fourth-gen models. This change means only one layer of glass will be used as opposed to the two glass layers found in previous generations. Then end result will be a thinner and lighter display assembly. Apple's potential switch to GF Ditto would make it the first company to commercialize and mass produce the technology.

Additionally, the newly designed glass substrate will shave off yet another two-tenths of a millimeter. Digitimes' sources also claim the design indicates the tablet will have an even thinner bezel than previous models.

Other features rumored in the report may sound familiar, including the 9.7-inch tablet sporting a 2048 x 1536 Retina display. The display is said to feature only one LED light bar; by comparison, fourth-gen iPads pack two light bars, marginally adding to their size and weight. The new iPad is expected to run iOS 7.




User Comments: 14

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JC713 JC713 said:

I thought it was just due to the use of 1 LED backlights instead of 3.

2 people like this | Guest said:

So light you have to put a brick on it to keep it from being blown off the table...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

So I'm guessing those that just shelled out $500+ for a Ipad 4 are pssed off over this news.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

@soldier1969

you could say that about anyone buying almost any product.

Demigod001 said:

Is anyone else getting a bit bored by the yearly updates. Even the numbered releases are just a bit better some changed icons and of course thinner (is pocket / purse space taxable or something?). One company copy's a feature another came up with (all of of them do it) and puts their own spin on it, which we will play with for a couple of hours then never use again.

I'd love something new, google glass or smart watch possibly but even Leela didn't use her wrist computer much and it was sarcastic. Or simply for them to wait for more than a year and make the upgrades actually worth it. I have a four year old phone I'm actually thinking of upgrading simply because the battery is finally dieing none of the new phones do much more than my old one does, they do it faster sure but for things I need fast for I use a tablet or a pc.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

@Demigod001 The way you make money is by moving product, and that's what Apple does. Reinventing a product like a tablet (or a phone, or a computer, or an MP3 player) every year or even biannually isn't nearly as lucrative as selling a marginally improved version every six months.

bexwhitt said:

This story makes is sound like Apple are going to make the display instead of using some other companies innovations.

Demigod001 said:

@Demigod001 The way you make money is by moving product, and that's what Apple does. Reinventing a product like a tablet (or a phone, or a computer, or an MP3 player) every year or even biannually isn't nearly as lucrative as selling a marginally improved version every six months.

Im sure your right or they wouldn't do it. I do wonder about the R&D costs for 6 month to annual releases versus waiting an extra year or even longer. Are phone releases more tied to contract length than consumer demand? Or again is it simply that it has always been done this way so it still is?

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Im sure your right or they wouldn't do it. I do wonder about the R&D costs for 6 month to annual releases versus waiting an extra year or even longer. Are phone releases more tied to contract length than consumer demand? Or again is it simply that it has always been done this way so it still is?

The production timelines for product refreshes, discontinuations, and so on are all planned out according to expected product life-cycles, which are estimated based on all applicable variables (R&D costs, consumer demand, manufacturing costs, pricing, etc.). The reason why Apple has such short cycles for their products is because they've determined that frequent refreshes provide the greatest bang for their buck versus longer-term strategies.

MilwaukeeMike said:

@Demigod001 The way you make money is by moving product, and that's what Apple does. Reinventing a product like a tablet (or a phone, or a computer, or an MP3 player) every year or even biannually isn't nearly as lucrative as selling a marginally improved version every six months.

Im sure your right or they wouldn't do it. I do wonder about the R&D costs for 6 month to annual releases versus waiting an extra year or even longer. Are phone releases more tied to contract length than consumer demand? Or again is it simply that it has always been done this way so it still is?

I'll bet its a complicated balancing act. New release now and forgo some new cool technology, or come out later and have the cool technology and hope your competitor doesn't come out with something in the meantime.

The tough part for Apple though is that they care so much more about the design of the actual product that it can come back to bite them. We saw recently they had to scrap a bunch of iPhones due to poor quality and the iphone 5 was easily scratched because of its brand new aluminum coating wasn't as refined as it probably could have been with a few more months of development.

Samsung on the other hand is cool with it's basic design from the S3, which is now on the Note 8 tablet and the S4. The gadgets are plastic, which is probably a lot easier to build. Even the latest phone to emphasize design has had it's issues. The HTC One's Zero gap, isn't really zero gap all the time (google 'HTC One Gap problem' and look at the images) and some phones have slight overhang on the edges or the screen may not be perfectly flush with the case.

Hopefully Apple doesn't hit these problems.... they're taking enough heat right now for their tax policies.

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John. said:

Apple is always being rumored.

Guest said:

Consumer: "how come ipad is lighter bcause the new touchscreen tech? how you done it?"

apple R&D: "simple, by reducing the display size by an inch"

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

"Next iPad rumored to be 33% lighter and thinner thanks to new touchscreen tech"

Probably easier for the screen to crack or for the IPAD to break.

avoidz avoidz said:

I'd rather have a thicker product that's more resilient and feels like it wouldn't snap in your hands. Besides, when those things are in protective sleeves or folders, the negligible difference is thinness becomes irrelevant.

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