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Apparently you really can innovate without using what the Conventional Wisdom tells us are innovative technologies.
That's according to the latest Note to Investors by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose expeculations (a cross of "expectations" and "speculations") were picked up by, among others, AppleInsider's Neil Hughes.
Kuo apparently believes that the full-size iPad 5 will be taking a bunch of design cues from the smaller iPad mini, unveiled in October, such as a much thinner and lighter body, and a narrower border around the display.
But don't hold your breath: "Kuo has forecast Apple to release a new full-size iPad in the third quarter of 2013," according to Hughes. That would be about a year after the unexpected revelation, at the iPad mini event, that Apple was releasing a fourth-generation iPad, fitted with the new Lightning dock connector and an upgraded A6X processor, about six months after it unveiled the third-generation iPad.
The only problem with this time frame? Dueling NTIs.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White wrote in his own Note to Investors earlier this month that he expeculates that "Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad Mini this March," according to International Business Times' Dave Smith, who also repeated Kuo's predictions.
White does agree with Kuo that iPad 5 will be "lighter and thinner" than iPad 4, and that the next iPad mini's form factor "should be similar" to the first one.
Since the fourth-generation iPad, there's been increasingly febrile rumors that Apple is shifting to a new cycle of releasing products every six months instead of every 12. But the only product so far that might, or might not, reveal that shift is the iPad 4, with its boosted processor and several other very real but conservative improvements.
iMore's Rene Ritchie argues perceptively, drawing on what we can actually see in current Apple products, that the future iPad 5 will likely draw its design cues from the combination of new "design language" and manufacturing processes that appeared in the iPhone 5, and have passed to other Apple mobile products.
"It's what let them make the iPhone 5, and it's what let them make the exquisite, and very similar looking iPad mini, iPod touch 5, and iPod nano," Ritchie writes. "It's what made for unified, ultra-thin, ultra-light, ultra-high precision, anodized aluminum unibodies with tighter curves, smaller bezels, and pixels so close to the surface it's like you're really touching them."
It makes sense, he concludes, for Apple to bring these same qualities, features and attributes to the next full-size iPad.
A 3D designer by the name of Martin uit Utrecht has created photorealistic images that reveal how such a thinner iPad 5 might compare to iPad 4 and iPad mini.
In the latest rumor from unnamed "industry sources," the former news service Reuters reports that Sharp Corp. has cut -- sharply -- its production of iPad 9.7-inch screens.