iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Oct. 15

Fingerprinting, fools' gold and grey, pixel madness

The wait for iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 seems nearly over. This week, Apple sent out press invitations for a San Francisco event Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

[NEWS: 20 must-see products at DEMO 2013]

It didn’t say what the event is about, but the iOSphere is widely, and even wildly, expecting that Apple will announce the Next iPads, and perhaps news regarding the OS X Mavericks release and the previously previewed new Mac Pro

Rumors continued unabated concerning the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, screen sizes and resolutions, timing, multiple new models, and whether they will gleam in golden splendor.

You read it here second.  

As with most leaked images, this was blurry and only shows a small corner of what is claimed to be the unannounced Apple tablet.

— Shane McGlaun, Slashgear, unintentionally distilling the glory and the shame of iOSphere rumormongering

iPad 5 will have Touch ID built into the home button

This rumor is based in part on a “leaked” photograph purportedly showing the iPad 5 with what is fondly believed to be the Touch ID fingerprint scanner integrated with the iconic Apple home button.

Slashgear was one of the many sites reporting exactly this. “The image shows a large-screen device with a Touch ID sensor looking very much like the one on the iPhone 5S in place of the traditional iPad home button,” according to Slashgear’s Shane McGlaun.

“As with most leaked images, this was blurry and only shows a small corner of what is claimed to be the unannounced Apple tablet,” McGlaun writes.

That qualifies as understatement. Here’s the photo, originally from the Chinese language site CTechCN.com. You need more than a magnifying glass to believe this is Touch ID: you need a certain willing suspension of disbelief.

CTech earlier this month posted two photos that the website claimed showed the flex cable for the new home button with Touch ID scanner.

BGR’s Zach Epstein called the photos “the most solid piece of evidence to date” because “According to the [CTech], the connector has been completely redesigned and it is very similar to the cable in the iPhone 5s,” Epstein assures his readers.

As it happens, we can compare the flex cable in the CTech photo, as posted by Epstein, with the photo by iFixit of the actual iPhone 5S home button/Secure ID flex cable. 

If you drink a couple of beers, half-close your eyes, and then cross them, and put on sunglasses, these two components undoubtedly will look “very similar.”

Having said all that, the most solid piece of evidence for an iPad Touch ID is, simply, that Apple has already introduced it in the new iPhone 5S.

iPad 5, iPad mini 2 will dazzle in fools’ gold

More “leaked” photos showed the burnished glow of gold iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 housings, as Adnan Farooqui breathlessly revealed at Ubergizmo

“The question everyone had in their minds after the iPhone was announced was that if the company will offer gold as a color option for its next generation iPads,” he declares.

That question must have slipped past The Rollup, to be honest, in favor of questions about the Retina display for iPad mini, or what processor Apple would use. Stuff like that.

“Apple hasn’t officially confirmed this as yet, but purported rear casings of the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 decked in gold have leaked,” Farooqui declared. Here’s the proof, for the iPad 5. These images originally appeared on the Chinese website CTech

The “Apple hasn’t officially confirmed this as yet” is a deft touch, making it sound like Apple might be “unofficially” confirming it, with a little wink-and-a-nudge that only truly discerning minds, like Farooqui’s, can decode.

In any case, he’s probably wrong. CNET’s Josh Lowensohn thought something looked a bit dodgy about the leaked photograph and experimented. “Funny how white balance fixes those "gold" iPad pix,” he tweeted

Kyle Frost, at Today’s iPhone, caught the tweet and created a side-by-side comparison of the two, which dramatically shows just how purported the gold iPads really are.

iPad 5, iPad mini 2 will dazzle in…space grey

Speaking of color, the Australian teenager Sonny Dickson says that he has been sent some crisp photos that reveal the Next iPads in grey, which he revealed in an October 8 post on his website

Technically, of course, that should be “space grey,” though it’s not clear what the word “space” actually brings to the word “grey.”

But space grey does sound more, well, spacey than just grey. Here’s one photo from the latest Dickson portfolio, which characteristically lacks any of the information you really want to know: like what do these puppies actually measure? Nor does he address the question (see above) of whether the two units reveal an integrated Touch ID sensor in the home button.

iPad 5 display unchanged, iPad mini 2 goes retina, iPad 6 goes wild, or not

A new round of opinions about iPad displays from stock analysts and unknown sources are being celebrated in the iOSphere, even though they’re pretty contradictory.

One set of predictions is by KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, who released a new Note To Investors (NTI) laying out Apple’s tablet product plans. Kuo is considered “typically-reliable” by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, who covered the new NTI. Kuo’s reputation was bumped up to “very reliable” by TechStorm’s Storm Williams, who covered Gurman’s coverage. 

According to Kuo, the iPad 5 expected this month will have the same screen size and resolution as the current iPad with Retina display – 9.7 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels.

The iPad mini 2 will stick with the same 7.9-inch screen, but jump to the Retina display resolution of 2048 x 1536.

Kuo goes on to say that the iPad 6, presumably due sometime in 2014, also will stick with the 9.7-inch size but offer higher resolution “with a PPI (pixels-per-inch) of 30-40% higher than the current Retina iPad,” according to Gurman’s summary. The third-generation iPad mini (in 2014?) will have its screen size and resolution unchanged.

Williams reminds his readers that NPD DisplaySearch also recently predicted that iPad 5 would be unchanged in screen size and resolution; that iPad mini 2 will shift to a Retina display but keep the same screen size; and that there will be a new larger iPad, with a 12.9-inch (diagonal) screen, at 2048 x 1536 pixels.

John Paczkowski, of AllThingsD, also says that iPad mini 2 “will be upgraded with a retina display” based on what he’s been told by “people familiar with Apple’s plans.” (The same sources also tell him that iPad 5 will have the new 64-bit A7 processor and that iPad mini “also likely will see” the same thing.)

But at BGR, Epstein posted a downer: stock analyst Brian White, of Cantor Fitzgerald, after meetings with supply chain companies in China and Taiwan recently, says the Next iPad mini will offer only a “minor upgrade” that will not include a Retina display. Instead the high-definition iPad mini will be released “sometime in the first quarter of next year.”

“As such, we expect Apple’s October 22 Special Event to be more important for the larger iPad family, with the iPad 5 enjoying a meaningful overhaul, but we anticipate only a modest upgrade to the iPad mini and without the Retina Display,” according to White.

iPad mini 2 will be thicker and heavier because of the Retina display

Citing a post at the Japanese Apple tech site Mac Otakara (sometimes referenced as Macotakara), 9to5Mac’s Gurman warns readers that “Like iPad 3, new iPad mini could be technically thicker to fit Retina Display.” 

But, he says reassuringly, this is a “very minor trade-off: some extra thickness and width that will likely not be noticeable to the human eye.”

He’s basing that assessment on the Mac Otakara post, which claims to have measured not an iPad mini 2 housing but a slip case made by a third-party accessories company to fit the iPad mini 2 housing.

“These cases fit a device with a thickness of 7.5mm and width of about 0.2mm wider than the current iPad mini,” according to Gurman.

Gurman at least mentions some of the challenges Apple faces in bringing the Retina display to the iPad mini. “Apple has been developing a Retina-version…but the company has been reluctant to ship it due to cost, hardware size, and battery-life concerns.”

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnwwjohn_cox@nww.com

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