Just ahead of the holidays comes word that Apple may soon be releasing its 5th-generation iPad sooner than most had anticipated. The Japanese-language blog Macotakara - which has a relatively good track record with respect to Apple rumors - is reporting that the next iPad may see the light of day come March 2013.
Of course, the March/April timeframe has typically been when Apple releases a revamped iPad, but given that the 4th-gen iPad was just released two months ago, that's quite an accelerated refresh cycle Apple has taken on.
Notably, the report claims that Apple's next-gen iPad may harness some inspiration from the iPad Mini to the extent it will feature a slimmer profile. Specifically, Apple's next-gen iPad will purportedly be 2mm thinner than the current version and just a tad thicker than the 7.2 millimeter iPad Mini.
As for other iPad rumors, there's also an unsubstantiated rumor that Apple's next-gen iPad Mini will feature a Retina Display.
The interesting takeaway from all of this - after all, a few mm shaved off of the iPad's profile isn't all that exciting - is that Apple seems to be taking to an extremely agressive release cycle in the tablet space. Clearly, they're not going to sit back on their laurels and give the ever-growing field of tablet competitors an opportunity to steal away marketshare. That's what happened to the iPhone, and Apple has seemingly learned its lesson.