iPad 5 to switch to iPad mini display tech for thinner assembly

iPad 3 (iPhoto teaser)

According to new reports by Taiwanese media outlets, Apple is said to be lining up suppliers for a fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad. The gizmo is said to adopt a revamped touchscreen technology, basically the same “GF2” display tech found on the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The iPad mini’s display assembly is notably thinner compared to its bigger brother that sports the glass-on-glass design so the reports jive nicely with previous rumors pointing to the iPad 5 borrowing a few design ideas from the iPad mini, namely a thinner and lighter appearance

The Japanese blog Macotakara Tuesday translated a pair of stories by Taiwanese news agencies (here and here). Apparently, on Apple’s list of display suppliers for a next-gen iPad are Nitto Denko, TPK and Japan Display.

Interestingly, Apple’s supplier Wintek is not mentioned and long-time contract manufacturer Foxconn is said to have landed the assembly job. DigiTimes previously claimed that the iPad 5 will use the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touch screen structure as the iPad mini.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty good track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, recently wrote in a note to clients that Apple’s roadmap for 2013 includes a third-quarter launch of new iPhones, iPads and redesigned MacBooks.

The reports also state that Apple has commissioned Retina displays for a revamped MacBook Air that should launch in the third quarter of 2013. Currently, Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup is available in Retina and non-Retina variants, but not Apple’s most affordable notebook, the ultra-portable $999 MacBook Air.

Apple recently refreshed Retina MacBook Pro and Air configurations with faster processors and up to $300 lower price points. In related news, a new patent filing published Tuesday reveals that Apple has won design rights to the MacBook Pro with Retina display

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filing No. D676,438 describes the notebook’s overall look and design and lists as inventors Apple’s SVP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and designer Christopher Stringer.