More evidence of March release date for iPad 5 and 2nd-gen iPad mini

A new research note from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White looks set to make a few Apple aficionados re-circle the month of March on their calendars.

It's nothing new to those who have been following the rumours about Apple's next iPad and iPad mini, as White's suggestion that Apple will launch a new iteration of both devices just two months from now supports previous claims from other sources.

"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," White wrote.

As we previously reported, Japanese blog Macotakara has suggested that the next iPad – rumoured to be announced in March – will shave 4mm off the height, 17mm in width, and 2mm in depth. That keeps with Apple's tendency of showcasing lighter, thinner, and more svelte devices whenever its portable product lines get a bit of a refresh.

Although Macotakara didn't elaborate on what new elements might grace an upgraded iPad Mini, the current rumours floating around the web point to the (hopeful) inclusion of a Retina Display – bringing the iPad Mini's resolution to 2,048 x 1,536. It's also been suggested that Apple might keep both products on shelves at the same time, giving consumers the option to purchase a more expensive iPad mini with a greater pixel density versus a more inexpensive device.

A new iPad and iPad mini launch in March could also provide further evidence for Apple's possible shift to a six-month update cycle instead of a year-long update cycle for its iOS products. It remains to be seen how customers might adapt to such a move, given the mini furore that erupted among some Apple fans when the company launched the iPad 4 just eight months after it released the iPad 3.