New iPhone Production to Begin this Quarter – Can the Next iPad be Far Behind?

ipad3According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to begin production on the next generation iPhone (presumably to be called the iPhone 5S) during the second quarter of the year, which means that the next iPhone will likely be launched late this summer.

An iterative update with a size and shape that is similar to the current iPhone 5, the iPhone 5S follows a standard Apple release schedule. The last five iPhones have been released within a four month window from June to October. With the next iPhone in the pipeline for a summer release, the next generation iPad isn’t likely to be far behind.

Unlike the iPhone, Apple has stuck to a rigid release schedule for its tablets, releasing an update like clockwork each spring. That update schedule was thrown into disarray, however, with the October announcement of both the fourth generation iPad and the iPad mini.

Though it has been just months since an iPad hit the market, there is a solid case for an additional iPad and iPad mini release in the next month or two. First of all, as mentioned, Apple has always used the iPad as its “new” spring product. The original iPad, the iPad 2, and the iPad 3 all came in March or April.

Second of all, it has now been five months without a new product release from Apple, which is an astonishingly long dry spell. With the iPhone slotted to fill a summer role once again, if Apple goes without a product release until the iPhone 5S announcement, it will mark a whopping seven to eleven months (following previous iPhone release schedules) between major product releases.

The fifth generation iPad, which is expected to sport a design that is similar to the iPad mini with smaller bezels and a lighter weight, was originally targeted for a March release, back in January.

Though March has come and gone, it still seems likely that, given the number of hints we’ve had about the design of the next iPad, it will be coming soon. We’ve already seen potential cases and fifth generation iPad parts, which are necessary precursors to any imminent product release.

MiniSuit Cases

There’s been surprisingly little speculation about a release date for the next generation iPad in recent months, mainly due to the wildcard October release, but it’s probably time to start getting your hopes up.

Given its past history, Apple isn’t going to leave us high and dry for much longer – we’re bound to see a new product before summer hits, and given the iPad’s history as Apple’s flagship spring product, I’ll be surprised if the fifth generation iPad doesn’t hit the market before June.

What are you hoping for in the next generation iPad? Make sure to take a look at the features we’re crossing our fingers for when it comes to the iPad 5, which we posted earlier today.

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli