The fifth generation iPad is believed to be unveiled in March, a report by Mac Otakara, a Japanese blog states. Details regarding the upcoming version of the 9.7-inch iPad are scarce as of now, but sources claim that the tablet will take design references from the iPad mini.

Apart from this, the tablet is expected to be thinner and lighter than the 3rd and 4th generation iPad, which were heavier and thicker than the iPad 2 because of the circuitry that is used to power the device’s Retina display. And if Apple does unveil the next generation iPad in March, it will be a mere five months after the brand unveiled the fourth generation version.

Apple's iPad losing ground to the competition

The successor to the fourth generation iPad may be released as early as March

It is believed that Apple may be adopting a half-year product refresh cycle in order to keep up with the growing competition from other device manufacturers. Apple has adopted a policy of launching a single product in a year since the beginning, but this changed when it introduced the fourth generation iPad model in October after announcing the third generation version in March this year.

The report also noted that there is an upgraded iPad mini also in the works and it will come with the Retina Display technology that is used on the iPhones and newer 9.7-inch iPads, as well as an A6X processor used in the current fourth generation iPad.

This is not the first time we have heard about the second generation iPad mini, currently being dubbed the iPad mini 2. It was previously reported that if Apple does enhance the resolution of the iPad mini, the next generation device will boast a resolution of 2058 x 1536 with a pixel density of 326ppi. The report also mentioned that Apple will restructure the lighting from two LED light bars to one in order to decrease the device's overall weight.

The Apple iPad mini was recently launched in India on December 7, 2012 and is available at authorised Apple resellers for a starting price of Rs 21,900.

The 16GB iPad mini Wi-Fi only version is available for Rs 21,900, while the 32GB and 64GB versions costs Rs 27,900 and Rs 33,900, respectively. The iPad mini Wi-Fi + cellular version costs Rs 29,900 for the 16GB version, and the 32GB version is priced at Rs 35,900. The high-end 64GB iPad mini Wi-Fi + cellular version sells for Rs 41,900.

With the iPad mini starting at Rs 21,900 (16GB), it can compete directly with the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Tab 2 (310), both of which are priced slightly below Rs 20,000. Read our comparison of these three tablets here.

The iPad mini has an aluminium and glass design 7.2 mm thick, and weighs only 0.68 pounds. This 7.9-inch tablet features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5-megapixel iSight camera at the back, which allows for recording full 1080p HD video. The iSight camera includes video image stabilisation and both cameras feature backside illumination, which Apple claims will allow users to capture great pictures in low light. The iPad mini also allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.

Read our review of the iPad mini here.

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