Apple will unveil its next iPads Oct. 22, according to AllThingsD.
The publication’s unnamed sources suggested that, in addition to the next-generation tablets, Apple executives will also reveal a bit more about the next Mac Pro and Mac OS X “Mavericks.” But the focus will be on the new iPad and iPad Mini, which could both feature Apple’s latest A7 processor.
In addition, AllThingsD reported, Apple has engineered the fifth-generation iPad to be lighter and thinner than its predecessors; the second-generation iPad Mini will feature the high-resolution Retina Display present in most current-generation Apple mobile devices.
Whether or not the new iPads actually debut on that date, Apple faces a significant bit of tablet competition heading into fall. Amazon recently announced the Kindle Fire HDX, which features a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM along with two upgraded cameras and a “Mayday” button for on-device tech support. Microsoft, undaunted by the $900 billion writedown it was forced to take when its first generation of Surface tablets didn’t sell, will soon release the upgraded Surface 2. Meanwhile, a galaxy of Android tablets from Google (such as the Nexus 7) and other manufacturers have steadily gained adherents.
An August research note from IDC estimated Apple’s hold on the tablet market in the second quarter of 2013 at 32.4 percent, a 14.1 percent decline from the second quarter in 2012. Samsung stood at 18 percent, a 277 percent rise from the same quarter last year; Asus, Lenovo, and Acer enjoyed explosive growth, although their respective market-shares have remained in the single digits. With regard to operating systems, Android commanded the lion’s share of the overall tablet market with an estimated 62.6 percent, followed by iOS with 32.5 percent and Windows with 4.0 percent.
That puts some pressure on Apple to maintain the sizable market-share lead it established with the iPad. But in recent weeks—thanks in large part to better-than-expected sales of its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C—Apple’s also managed to blunt the narrative percolating among investors and tech bloggers that its most innovative days are behind it; if the latest iPads prove sizable hits, it could further solidify the company’s commanding position among mobile-device firms.