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Rumor: A Tweaked iPad Is Coming. Will It Be The iPad Mini?

Rumors of a tweaked iPad aren't new: Back in July, Digitimes reported that Apple is readying another version of the iPad 3, adopting the pretty new IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display technology and other changes, resulting in a thinner body compared to the record-thin iPad 2.

iPad mini
However, considering that Digitimes doesn't have a reliable track record, the report was received with skepticism. Meanwhile, new sources have added their voices to the Taiwanese report, which makes us think Apple is indeed working on a tweaked version of the new iPad.

The most notable claim was made by Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities, who said in July that Apple is working to improve the new iPad's heat dissipation, and that we are going to see some component changes, although the analyst didn't claim these will affect the device's thickness. Kuo has a remarkable track record of correctly predicting Apple's moves in recent years.

The latest rumor comes from NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, and is publicized by CNET. The analyst believes Apple is working on the changes mentioned above, and included the thickness change too.

"We are seeing [Apple] work with panel makers to come out with a display that enables a thinner overall [product] with longer battery life," said Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch. [...]
DisplaySearch last week published a research note about the updated iPad Retina, which said "Apple is working with the LCD supply chain to refresh the display, including revising the LED backlight design for cost reduction, refining the thermal solution, reducing the weight by replacing some components, and fine tuning the panel transmittance for lower power consumption."

That would include using an IGZO display to reduce the display's thickness and heat, Shim added. Samsung would be a likely manufacturer, he said.

Fact is, we have seen Apple patenting the in-cell technology we are likely to see in the upcoming iPhone 5, and since the image leaks document each phase of the iPad mini production, we tend to believe this is part of the smaller version of the iPad that is expected to hit the market in October around the same date as last year's iPhone 4S launch.

Those, who are already using the iPad know that its weight and thickness contribute to its usage. By reducing its weight and thickness, Apple will likely make a product that users will carry with them just like their iPhone.

However, these claims don't specify an immediate release of the tweaked iPad, yet DisplaySearch hints that seven million tweaked iPads are to hit the market this October. This is why we tend to believe this isn't about the 9.7-inch version, but the iPad mini version, as in October we expect Apple to launch the smaller version of the iPad on the global market. However, since these are only rumors, we also tend to think these improvements will be part of the fourth-generation iPad, which won't come until March next year.

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