Despite Apple releasing its fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini in October, around March/April has traditionally been the launch point for new iPad products since the first one launched in 2010. Now price cuts of up to 30pc at various US tech retailers for third-generation iPads are leading to speculation that Apple may be prepping a new family of devices.
According to MacRumors, Apple has been preparing to cut iPad mini shipments in Q2 in order to prepare for the next generation.
Second-generation iPad mini devices are being tipped to come with a Retina display.
The surest signal that something is afoot in the iPad space, at least, is the reduction in price by 30pc for the full-size iPads in BestBuy, WalMart and MacMall.
The price of a 32GB third-generation iPad with 3G at BestBuy has been cut from US$549.99 down to US$384.99, for example.
Competition in the tablet space has accelerated as Android-based tablets from Samsung and Sony are getting into their strides and Apple may be under pressure to pursue shorter release cycles of six to nine months to blunt the competition.
Research from Gartner this morning revealed that more tablet computers will ship in 2013 than PCs, while IDC in March revealed that Google’s Android operating system is expected to overtake Apple’s iPad and will capture 48.9pc of the global tablet market this year while the iPad is expected to slip from 51pc to 46pc global market share.
As well as rumours of new iPads, in recent days rumours have been rife that manufacturers have been preparing to ramp up production of the next generation of iPhone devices, as well as a budget iPhone model in time for a release potentially as early as June, but most likely to be in line with traditional September release frames.