Taiwanese news source DigiTimes is reporting that the next-generation iPad 5 will be substantially lighter than the current model. The website claims to have this information via Taiwan-based backlighting industry sources, although it does not name the sources.
DigiTimes reports: "the sources also said that Apple will restructure the lighting of the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad from two LED light bars to one in order to decrease the device's overall weight".
This iPad 5 mock-up (right) shows how it will look if it follows styling of the current iPad mini (left)
Apple is said to be restructuring the iPad 5 from two LED Light Bars to using just the one LED Light Bar. This will help trim the device's overall weight and thickness.
The dual LED Light Bar technology was first introduced in the iPad 3, the first Retina display iPad. Apple was thought to have introduced this technology to counteract problems with brightness introduced by the Retina display.
It seems that Apple may have found another way to provide the same level of visual clarity with just the one LED Light Bar. Removing the second LED Light Bar would help the device to consume less power, so Apple could maintain the 10 hour battery life with a smaller, and thinner, batter.
Apple is also rumoured to be including a IGZO display developed by Sharp. Sharp said the new technology allows for twice the detail of existing panels at the same transparency, which means high-resolution devices can be designed that require less power and space for backlighting. The company said the new displays cut power consumption by up to 90 percent versus those currently in use.
This would mean a smaller and thinner device overall. This would be a great move for the iPad, which is starting to be considered one of the heavier tablet devices. Many of the reviews of Apple's iPad mini focused on how much better it was to have a device that could be comfortably held in one hand, and carried around without it weighing as much.
We expect Apple to introduce an iPad 5 at some point in 2013 with a thinner case and style that is more similar to the current iPad mini. The iPad mini 2 is expected to be enhanced with a Retina display.