Lovely iPad Rumor of the Day: Apple Moving to 2 iPad Releases Per Year

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iPad 5 Mockup

Image Source: Martin Hajek

I know, I know – new iPad rumors already – when we just saw the release of two new iPads a couple of months ago. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not so much. Today MacRumors and others are reporting on Wall Street analyst Brian White’s prediction that we’ll see 2 more new iPads released in March:

Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.

Even more interesting is that over recent weeks Horace Dediu of Asymco discussed the possibility of Apple switching to a twice a year release schedule for at least some of its star products – and put forward some solid reasons why this is plausible. Then Graham Spencer at MacStories did some further research and analysis around Dediu’s case and posted his thoughts this week. He weighs up a number of factors to do with release schedules, international rollouts timing, spreading out demand peaks and troughs better over the course of the year and ends up saying his guess is that Apple will move to a twice a year release schedule for the iPad and iPhone in 2013, while pointing out that it’s a tough call and a very tough thing to pull off for Apple.

If I had to wager, I’d bet on Spencer’s guess being right. I think we likely will see two sets of iPad releases this year. I know this will upset a number of iPad owners – because presumably this will render their latest iPad not so latest and greatest sooner than they would like.I don’t feel that way at all. I think a twice a year release cycle, if done right and without any diminishing of the quality of the product line, will strengthen the iPad’s competitive position against the myriad of rival devices.

I also don’t feel concerned at all about having to try to ‘Keep up with the Jones’ so to speak in terms of getting every new model. Technology changes fast. The biggest, baddest, fastest PC of today is a major also-ran in just a few months. I don’t feel that any tech company needs to give me any sort of guarantee that the PC / tablet / smartphone / app I buy today will still be the frontrunner on specs or whatever measurement in 6 months time.

I’ll be happy to buy a new iPad and / or iPad mini model whenever I feel the upgrade is substantial enough in a way that I can directly benefit from. In fact, that’s how I approached last November’s doubled-up iPad release. I decided that the things that were improved in the iPad 4th gen were not things I would make frequent use of and I was happy sticking with my iPad 3. The lightness and from factor of the iPad mini seemed a major and tangible benefit for me, and worth trying. As you know if you read my iPad mini review, I’m more than happy with the choice I made.

What do you all think? Will we see two sets of iPad releases this year? And if so, are you happy about it, ticked off, or not fussed either way?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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6 thoughts on “Lovely iPad Rumor of the Day: Apple Moving to 2 iPad Releases Per Year”

  1. I don’t have a problem as long as they keep a fair support cycle. Like when siri came out and an iPhone 4 couldn’t have it, at least a year had gone by. I’d be pretty aggravated if they introduced a big new feature 6 months after buying the previous model.

  2. You do raise some good points as new iPad Retina and iPad mini owners must be fuming as they’re hearing about these rumors. While it’s true that Apple’s product release schedule is beginning to become too aggressive for my tastes, other tech companies have been refreshing their SKUs at the rate of one every two months. Apple has the right (as well as the money) to refresh whenever they choose, especially since the iPad line falls strictly under the luxury items category.

    My circumstances regarding a possible iPad/iPad mini refresh coming in March have (for once) put me in an advantageous position. I’m a temporary employee so my budget throughout the year is limited, yet I pay enough taxes so that I could purchase one ridiculously expensive yet shiny new tech toy every March. Usually I would be bothered by an abrupt change in product scheduling but (like the first Nvidia-equipped Mac mini that I’m typing this comment on), this revision (if it’s true) will come at the right time for me.

    Even if Apple doesn’t place a Retina screen in the iPad mini (due to lack of supply or compromise on physical size/battery life), a bump in specs to 1GB of RAM and the A6 processor would be good enough. While I viewed my friend’s iPhone 5 and was blown away by the screen, I’ve also tried out the iPad mini and am willing to deal with the screen as-is.

  3. Nah, Im still happy with the ipad2. I’ve never tried the retina of the 4 because I don’t want to feel the need to buy it. The 2 is number 1 for me.

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