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.

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