iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 roundup: What to expect from Apple’s launch event

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After many months of impatient waiting, Apple’s yearly iPad event is finally upon us. Apple will hold its invite-only event on 22 October, and that neatly falls in line with what we’ve been hearing out of the rumour mill. While there haven’t been any firm details about the release date of the next iPad and iPad mini, a 1 November release is the most likely prospect – at least over in the United States, anyway.

Despite all the excitement, iPad revisions aren’t the only news scheduled to come out of this event. AllThingsD has been led to believe that OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro will be highlighted prominently at this event. Since Apple has already promised the launch of the cylindrical Mac Pro, and Mavericks has gone gold, these seem like very safe bets. The MacBook Pro still hasn’t received a bump up to Intel’s Haswell platform, so it’s likely that we’ll see that announcement bundled into this event as well.

So, what can we expect from the new iPad and iPad mini? It’s widely believed that we’ll see a thinner and less curvy design on the backside of Cupertino’s new tablets. Right on time, Sonny Dickson has posted pictures of supposedly leaked iPad shells (see below). The photos are crisp and clear, but it’s always possible that these will turn out to be completely bogus. Bear in mind that Apple produces countless prototypes for its product lines. Even if this is legitimately from Apple’s supply chain, it might not be representative of the final product.

It’s safe to assume that we’ll see the iPad mini 2 ship with a 2048 x 1536 Retina display this year as well. Reports have surfaced claiming that Samsung will be making the high-res 7.9in display for Apple, but we all know how strained that business relationship is right now. Apple is most certainly in talks with countless vendors, so any number of business deals could have changed leading up to the official launch. Whether the new iPad mini will have the new 64-bit A7 SoC remains to be seen, but it probably won’t.

We might also see the launch of more iPad colours. Since these leaked iPad shells show off the “Space Grey” aesthetic, we could see the gold backing from the iPhone 5S come to the iPad as well. If you thought a golden iPhone was garish, just wait until you see a 9.7in iPad completely decked out in gold. At this point, we simply have to wait and see how far Apple is willing to push the “blinged out” look on its popular iOS devices.

It’s fairly safe to assume that both the new iPad and iPad mini will be equipped with the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor, too – although, curiously enough, the rumour mill has been pretty quiet on this front. In fact, in general, the iPad and iPad mini rumour mill has been surprisingly quiet all year. Whether this is indicative of an interesting shake-up or not, we’ll have to wait until 22 October to find out.

Image Credits: Sonny Dickson