By this time tomorrow, Apple’s event will have wrapped, and we should known everything we need to about both the full-sized iPad 5, as well as this year’s new iPad mini 2. For the moment, however, there are still many questions remaining to be answered, especially when it comes to what’s going on with the iPad mini. As we get our ducks in a row for Apple’s announcement, let’s take a look back on what we’ve heard so far.
As there’s much less controversy surrounding it, let’s start things off with the iPad 5. Early on, we heard that Apple might not wait until the fall to introduce the tablet, and could bring news of its new lineup as early as this past spring. Rumors about the changes we might see focused on slimming things down, and talked about a narrow, lighter tablet with much in common with the first-gen iPad mini.
While that spring launch never happened, even back then we were seeing leaked images purporting to be this new iPad 5 hardware. Those appeared to confirm rumors about following the mini’s footsteps, shaving the side bezels considerably.
Over the summer, we heard some additional stabs at an early release date, but the smart money kept pointing towards the fall. The leaks continued, pointing at changes like the slimmer body we heard rumored, and by August we were seeing some high-quality images of potential iPad 5 hardware. Those continued all month long, and while rumors briefly suggested that Apple might bring along its new tablets to September’s iPhone event, October sounded much more likely.
More recently, the question’s turned to the presence of a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and after showing up in a few leaks, it’s looking very much confirmed for the iPad 5. We’ve also seen new color options, and got to see an in-the-flesh measurement of just how thin the tablet will actually be.
That covers most of the bases for the iPad 5, so how about its little brother, the iPad mini 2?
It all started out so simply, with the dream for an iPad mini that wouldn’t have a 1024 x 768 resolution like early iPads, but step up to a Retina display.
But then, over the summer, the mini 2 threatened to go off-course. Rumors started suggesting that the tablet might not arrive until sometime in 2014, and even if it did, there might still be an iPad mini 2 with the same old resolution as the first-gen model.
As with the iPad 5, August brought with it a flood of new leaked pics of iPad mini 2 hardware, and it was once again looking like a fall launch was back on track.
The Touch ID scanner we’re expecting for the iPad 5 has been mentioned on more than one occasion as showing up on the iPad mini 2, as well, though it’s become a seriously contentious issue. Leaks have been back-and-forth on the issue, and even today we’re seeing conflicting images. It really could go either way, though the most likely outcome seems to be the iPad mini 2 not getting such a scanner.
Similarly, uncertainty about the mini 2′s launch and the presence of a Retina display have returned, and while it’s been difficult to confirm, and evidence appears to be going against the idea of a Retina screen, supporters of the rumor are holding their ground. If we’d had to bet, we’d say “yes” to the Retina screen and “no” to Touch ID.
That’s what we’ve heard so far. We might get some new colors – maybe gold, though that’s been tied to leaks we’ve since become less than convinced by – as well as new accessories. Whatever Apple has to share, we’ll be bringing you all the news and commentary you’ll need, so be sure and check back tomorrow afternoon for our live coverage of these iPad announcements.