Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet market has loosened slightly over the past couple of quarters. And with the iPad 5 expected to be unveiled in the next couple of months, Apple has a chance to reinvigorate its tablet offerings.
Digitimes reports that trial production of the 5th generation 9.7-inch iPad will begin soon, with mass production of the device expected to start in July. According to sources in Apple’s Taiwan-based supply chain, monthly shipment of the tablet is expected to cross 2-3 million by September, which suggests that Apple is aiming for an August or late July unveiling for the iPad.
The fourth-gen iPad will soon be replaced in the pecking order
The report also mentions that the new iPad won’t have a higher resolution display than the current Retina-class 2048 x 1536 resolution display. But the manufacturing process for the display has been changed, resulting in a slimmer tablet. The new display is built on a glass substrate of 0.2 mm, thinner than the 0.25 mm one for the 4th generation iPad. This has also resulted in a narrower bezel.
The touch panel solution for the new iPad is GF2, with 1 layer of glass and two layers of ITO film, instead of the G/G bonding technique used in the current model, the sources added. The new iPad will use one LED light bar for backlighting, halving the number used in the 4th gen iPad. The change in manufacturing process means the new iPad will be 25-33 percent lighter than the model it replaces.
The display for the iPad will be supplied by LG, Samsung and Sharp, while Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT) will undertake SMT process for the LED light bars. Radiant Opto-Electronics and Coretronic are said to be manufacturing the backlight units, while TPK Holding is working on the touch panel bonding.