WSJ: Apple will launch Retina iPad mini and thinner iPad 5 tomorrow

iPad mini 2 in Apple Store (Martin Hajek 002)

Joining the guessing game ahead of Apple’s iPad event tomorrow, The Wall Street Journal in a story yesterday evening has corroborated the rumor-mill reporting by throwing its credibility behind the reports calling for a fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad with a thinner and lighter appearance, as well as a second-generation iPad mini with the Retina display.

The iPad 5, the report states, will adopt a new kind of display technology which allows for a much thinner display assembly. Go past the fold for the full reveal…

WSJ writes:

Apple is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution “retina” display. It’s also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard 9.7-inch iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company’s parts suppliers.

Calling it “the world’s best-selling tablet computer”, WSJ notes that the iPad mini is estimated to account for nearly two of every three iPads sold.

The well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks both new iPads will share the same eight-megapixel iSight camera on the back, with the iPad 5 running the Apple-designed A7X chip, an improved version of the iPhone 5s’s A7 silicon with faster graphics.

The iPad mini, Kuo conjures up, will run the A7 chip  and have the Retina display, like the rumors have predicted, but cautioned the iPad mini 2 will be tough to find at launch time.

As for Touch ID, Kuo doesn’t expect Apple to include the fingerprint sensor, nor a gold color option, in either iPad line this year, because components for these features are reportedly still being prioritized for the iPhone 5s, limiting supplies.

Previous reports speculated Touch ID should be on tap for the full-size iPad.

Apple’s event kicks off at 10am PST tomorrow and we’ll be reporting major developments and tidbits throughout the day. For a comprehensive look at what to expect from the event, check out Cody’s nice roundup.