Apple iPad 5 rumours, release date and everything you need to know

Apple has officially sent out the invitations for the much-rumoured 22 October event, where the new iPad 5 is expected to be launched, along with the iPad mini 2 and new MacBook Pro models.

We've rounded up all the weird and wonderful rumours surrounding the iPad 5 and coupled them with our thoughts on what we expect the iPad 5 could bring with it on launch day.

iPad 5 release date

In December last year there were rumours that the iPad 5 would surface in March 2013 but of course that didn't happen. The rumours continued, with April and September also dubbed as possible release months.

We are now in October and while there is no confirmed release date, if Apple's previous patterns are anything to go by, the new iPad 5 will be available soon after the launch event. We expect to see the iPad 5 on sale around 1 November if it is announced on 22 October as expected.

The iPad 5 build

Rumours have suggested the iPad 5 will be lighter than its predecessor. According to AppleInsider and Digitimes, Apple is looking to ditch the two LED backlighting bars found in the previous iPad models and replace it with one, meaning it will "decrease the device's overall weight". The removal of one of the LED tubes would also improve battery life according to the rumours.

Japanese website Macotakara also reported in December 2012 that "informed sources" said the iPad 5 would be lighter and thinner, as well as draw inspiration from the iPad mini.

Translation is sometimes tricky, but when the site claimed the new iPad would be "a small 4mm in height, 17mm in width, depth 2mm", we think it meant the iPad 5 would be smaller than the iPad 4 by the dimensions it quotes.

iMore and Digitimes also supported the idea that the iPad 5 would be thinner and lighter thanks to technology from the iPad mini. Digitimes said Apple would be using the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touchscreen as the mini which would enable the thinner design.

According to Digitimes in May, the iPad 5 will be 33 per cent lighter than the current iPad 4 and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the iPad 5 would be 15 per cent thinner.

Chinese social site Weibo leaked an image which was then posted by nowhereelse.fr claiming to be the rear casing for the iPad 5. The image reveals Apple has done away with the angular edges of the iPad 4 in favour of a more curved design like the mini, along with adding the mini-style speakers either side of the Lightning port.

Chinese parts supplier sw-box.com also posted a video claiming to show leaked parts from the iPad 5 and it not only gives you the dimensions and the iPhone 5S Space Grey colour but also supports the rumours of the speakers being moved to either side of the Lightning port. The measurements in the video for the iPad 5 are shown as 169.5 x 239.2 x 7.2mm.

The video also shows the volume button split into two separate buttons, as well as a rear microphone which was also rumoured a couple of months ago and supports the idea of the of the iPad 5 taking its design from the iPad mini.

More recently, Sonny Dickinson also released a number of high-res and detailed pictures which he claims are of the iPad 5. If the images are correct, it confirms much of what has been rumoured so far including the rear microphone, iPad mini-style design, change of speaker location and thinner bezel.

Touch ID

In terms of the fingerprint scanner from the iPhone 5S, there is no concrete evidence to suggest Touch ID will be appearing on the iPad but there have of course been a couple of rumours. YouTube channel Unbox Therapy used creative tinkering to show why the fingerprint scanner could make its way to the iPad 5.

Using one of the leaked iPad 5 front panels that have been floating around from part suppliers, Unbox Therapy shows how the iPad 4's current home button will not fit in the new build. However it dismantled an iPhone 5S' Touch ID home button and placed it into the iPad 5 case which showed a perfect fit.

An image also leaked online earlier this week claiming to show the iPad 5 with the Touch ID scanner, although the image doesn't show much so it could easily be a fake.

The iPad 5 display

The iPad 5 is said to be coming with the same 9.7-inch size display but with a thinner 0.2mm glass substrate and GF2 touchscreen technology. The iPad 5 will still come with a Retina display however, as only the touchscreen technology will be taken from the mini. LG is thought to be making the Retina display which sports a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, a pixel density of 264ppi. That's the same as the current-gen iPad and given that Apple didn't bump the resolution in the iPhone 5S, it's perhaps an indicator that the company isn't in a hurry to make resolution changes. 

A thinner bezel is also expected for the iPad 5, providing a larger viewing area. Both Digitimes and Macotakara claimed a thinner bezel would be making its way to the iPad 5, but Digitimes said Apple would need to get rid of one of the LED tubes for this to happen.

Sonny Dickinson, a previously reliable source, also published some close-up shots of what is said to be the iPad 5 front panel and supports the idea of the smaller iPad mini-style bezel. However, we're looking at an old style home button, so take this with a pinch of salt.

iPad 5 camera

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has had a relatively solid track record with Apple, the iPad 5 will receive an upgraded camera. Kuo claims the new iPad will include an 8-megapixel rear camera meaning a vast improvement on the current iPad 4's 5-megapixel offering.

Although it isn't said specifically, it would make sense for Apple to introduce the same camera featured on the recent iPhone 5S to the iPad 5, which would be an 8-megapixel snapper with an f/2.2 aperture. The new sensor is said to be 15 per cent larger and can let in 33 per cent more light and as we said in our iPhone 5S review, the smartphone is especially good in low-light conditions so it would be great if the iPad gained the same advantage.

Like it or loathe it, a lot of people are using iPads to take photos out in public.

Conclusion

There are only a few days to wait before we find out which of the rumours become reality, and which remain a myth. We suspect the iPad 5 will be more in line with the iPad mini design, coming it at lighter and smaller than the iPad 4. It will of course come with iOS 7 and almost certainly the A7 processor.

In terms of the camera and Touch ID, it would make sense for both to appear on the iPad 5, although there isn't as much evidence supporting either so we will have to keep our fingers crossed and wait until the 22 October to find out for sure.



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