Analyst: Apple to launch iPad 5 and Retina iPad mini with A7X chip in Q4 2013

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Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst at KGI Securities who has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple product plans, has released a new research report to his clients, in which he has given his predictions  for Apple’s iPad line up.

Here are some of the highlights from his research report:

  • He expects Apple to launch iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 before the end of the year.
  • Interestingly, he believes both the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 to be powered by a variant of Apple’s next generation A-series chip, A7X. iPhone 5S is expected to be powered by the A7 chip.
  • He also expects iPad mini 2 to come with Retina Display, which is also the reason why he believes Apple will use an A7X chip and not the A6X chip from iPad 4.
  • He expects component shipments to ramp up through the end of this quarter to gear up for the mass production in the fourth quarter of the year.
  • He also expects Apple to launch a cheaper iPad mini model early next year, which will also be an upgraded version but will be based on the A6 chip.
  • Kuo notes that Apple will experience manufacturing difficulties with iPad 5 due to its rumored iPad mini-like design, but is still on track to launch it later this year.
  • He also notes that the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 will support TDD-LTE technology, which means that they will work on China Mobile’s network.

There have been some rumors that Apple won’t launch a Retina iPad mini this year. But Kuo claims that Apple has decided to launch it later this year due to the launch of small high-resolution tablets like the new Nexus 7.

Since iPad mini 2 will feature better resolution with retina display, we think its AP will have the same grade as iPad 5 – the A7X.

But we now believe that iPad mini 2 may be pulled in for launching in late 2013. Since other brand vendors are all expected to have a line-up of new high resolution 7-8” tablets to launch over the next 3-6 months, we think iPad mini 2 may lose its opportunity in the market if it is slated for introduction next year.

Despite minimal form factor differentiation and unchanged casing colors, we think the retina display will still boost iPad mini 2’s attractiveness. Although the model’s availability is small due to production issues, if iPad mini 2 gets an introduction and launch this year, it should be able to impact consumers and freeze their budget for other brand vendors’ tablets.

Kuo has also predicted that iPhone 5S will powered by A7 chip with 1GB RAM, and will feature an 8-megapixel camera with larger f/2.0 aperture, fingerprint sensor. He expects iPhone 5S to be available in the new gold color, and also expects Apple to offer a high-end 128GB model.

Retina iPad mini based on the A7X chip will be awesome as until now we thought Apple is going to disappoint us with a non-Retina iPad mini based on A6X chip. I am not sure why Apple would delay the launch of the cheaper iPad mini to next year, it should ideally launch it along with the iPad 5 and iPad mini later this year, and price it at $249.

[Via MacRumors]