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Various sources have been mulling for months that Apple’s fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad will adopt the overall appearance of the iPad mini, including its skinnier side bezels and thinner, lighter enclosure. And as if you ever needed more proof, now the credulous Wall Street Journal is finally out with its own report.

Corroborating the rumor-mill chatter, the story reaffirms the notion that the iPad 5 partially owns its slimmer and lighter form factor to a new touchscreen technology borrowed from its little brother. Read on for the full reveal…

Per The Journal:

The same touch-panel technology that made the iPad mini thin and light will likely feature in the next iPad, which is currently being produced by Apple Inc.’s Asian suppliers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The publication is talking about the thin-film touchscreen technology called GF Ditto (also known as GF2), currently utilized on the iPad mini. As recently reported by DisplaySearch, all upcoming iPads will adopt GF2 tech.

GF2, a double-sided ITO film, has allowed for the iPad mini’s much thinner and significantly lighter enclosure versus the bulkier iPad 4 that uses a glass-based touch panel called G/G touchscreen.

“Following the iPad mini’s success, Apple plans to use the film-based touch panel in its next regular-size iPad”, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Here’s a video from Youku which purportedly depicts a partially assembled iPad 5.

The Journal educates us on the benefits of GF2 vs G/G screen assembly:

For device makers, the option of using a film-based touch panel is becoming more attractive than before, as the film material has largely overcome previous technical disadvantages against glass, and it has advantages in terms of thickness and weight, said DisplaySearch analyst Shoko Oi.

Because Apple is the world’s largest vendor of tablet computers, what technologies it uses to produce iPads could have a significant impact on component suppliers. More demand for film-based touch panels is good news for manufacturers of PET films that are used to produce such panels.

For what it’s worth, it was iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz who back in January first called for the iPad 5’s iPad mini-like design. Based on a physical model he had apparently seen, Horwitz wrote that the next full-size iPad could be “a lot smaller than one would guess was possible” with “virtually no left or right bezels”.

At any rate, the bulkiness, the added weight and the overheating non-issue plaguing the current Retina iPads are all about to become a thing of the past, should Apple engineers have their way.

  • Kurt

    credulous doesn’t mean credible. Wall Street Journal has been extremely credible with Apple news.

  • Matt Taylor

    Meh. Now everyone is forced to use iOS7 on newer devices, I couldn’t give a crap! I was so excited for the iPad 5 but now I’ve seen iOS7 I doubt I’ll ever buy a new iPad again! Unless jailbreak devs come to the rescue and fix apples mess… Again.

    • JimGresham

      You can be sure there is something in the works for a vintage iOS design for Winterboard coming after the iOS 7 release.

      • Matt Taylor

        After a JB releases you mean, and god knows when that will be! And to be honest I like a few elements of iOS7, the lockscreen is ok and even the homescreen but all those pathetic UI icons that look like a ten year old drew them are just terrible! The lack of any shadowing/contouring/outlining just looks a mess, not simplistic! The navigation bar and bottom tab bar are my main gripe though. Text only “buttons” horrible icons and forcing a color scheme on us (Blue) is just so arrogant it’s unreal! A decade ago phones had multiple themes to choose from. Now in 2013 and apple don’t respect there customers enough to let them choose there own preferences in a UI! How hard is it to provide a few different themes, very similar in style but different enough to cater multiple tastes? They treat us like robots and I for one am sick of it! Apple have to be the most arrogant company in the history of man!

      • JimGresham

        I agree with your complaints.

        As far as an iOS 7 JB, you can probably expect one by then end of the year or after iOS 7.1.

      • Yunsar

        7.1? But doesn’t P0sixninja already have a jailbreak?

      • JimGresham

        There are known exploits saved from iOS 6 that are still open in iOS 7. The reason they may wait to release the iOS 7 JB until 7.1 is to allow Apple to work out an GM version bugs.

        The .1 update usually comes very quickly (maybe a couple weeks) after the initial release. That is the best time to release the JB, just in case Apple closes the exploits between .0 and .1

    • mehrab

      Ios 7 is gorgeous

      • Matt Taylor

        If you’re simple I guess it’s relatively appealing!

      • mehrab

        The design is dynamic but It makes everything much more simpler “don’t judge a book by its cover” use ios first then reply back here

      • Matt Taylor

        That’s like saying “Give the ugly girl a chance, she has a great personality”. No thanks mate, not a bit of me! At all.

      • mehrab

        Bro. The animations. The parallax.The black and white design inside applications. The phone app when you press buttons it shows your background. When you goto tab view in safari and move your device it parallaxes and it just looks so wicked. The live wallpapers which move by motion. Ios 7 is amazingly designed. I hated the icons at first im used to them know and i like them alot. It even parralaxes when you mutitask and it shows your wall papaer too IT LOOKS SICK. the blurs and transparencies changing your wallpaper has a huge effect to the look and feel across the whole OS and its really true. Like i said get it on your hands for a few days when its public and you”ll love it

      • Matt Taylor

        I know about all these things. The mechanics are pretty good i’ll give it that! But it’s so f’ing ugly! The developers deserve a medal but the graphic designers deserve a pie in the face. My main hate is the in app UI icons and the lack of buttons in the (top) navigation bar! Also the blue is pretty bad! The most ugly example is safari… The in app icons, especially the bottom icons, are just so ugly it hurts! You could literally make them with a pencil on a piece of paper while paralytically drunk. Photoshop doesn’t even come in to it. It’s down to jailbreak developers now to fix the mess!

      • mehrab

        Most buttons got fixed. Its not ugly its just different. Flat and neon when you have a good wallapaper it looks good. And sure if you still dont like it you can alwaays jailbreak

  • Jason Dennery

    Whatever happened to the IGZO rumors?

  • Yunsar

    The edges aren’t as thin as I was expecting.