iPad 5 to be slimmer than ever as LED backlight shrinks down

The crazy stuff Apple does to prove that it’s number one. It’s been reported that the iPad 5 will be thinner than ever before, thanks to Apple shedding the size of the LED backlight. CNET received this email from well-known tech analyst Paul Semenza, who partly confirms the speculation.

It’s likely that part of the thinner/lighter design will be reducing the size of the LED backlight, partly by making the display more efficient and partly by using more efficient LEDs. The other significant change that we feel is likely is a shift to a film-based touch sensor. It is not yet clear if there will be a big change to the display — such as using IGZO (a display tech that allows for smaller pixels).

The 9.75-inch iPad 5 has been rumoured to support the same chamfered edge as the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. It’s a sure bet at this point, as Apple seems to be applying this new style to practically every device it brings out. There’s even a slight chamfering on the MacPro Retina Display.

And a thinner iPad just makes sense. It’s how Apple upgrades its devices. Make it thinner, make it lighter, make it more desirable. The iPad Mini is one of the best-selling tablets in the world, so we fully expect Apple to mimic the success of it’s fledging tablets design by incorporating it with the iPad 5.

But what of the “film-based touch sensor”? This sensor-film was shoved into the public eye roughly a year ago, and is said to “revolutionize touch screens”. With film-based sensors, the screen can literally wrap around the iPad  and it’s also said that production will be US-based. Sadly though, this will most likely raise the price of the iPad’s, as most locally produced devices cost more than products made and shipped from Foxconn (or wherever).

Semenza ends by saying that the iPad 5 will most likely arrive in Q3 2013. Watch out for its super-thinness.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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