It’s already six months the new iPad is ruling the market, and now the rumors about the fourth-generation iPad are already floating over the internet. The rumors come directly after getting hints from the iPhone 5, so let’s predict what iPhone 5 and iOS 6 bring into the fourth-generation iPad.
iPad 4 – Predictions from iPhone 5
Different Form Factor
With certain changes in the internals, we expect iPad 4 to come with a different form factor. The current iPad resembles iPhone 3GS, but a lot more slim. This is expected to be changed in the fourth-generation iPad. Leaked mock-ups of iPad Mini shows skinnier bezels which makes it look like an oversized iPod Touch. I expect that fourth-generation iPad will follow the same form-factor making it a thinner iPad.
Lightning Dock Connector
Henceforth every iDevice will sport the new revamped dock connector named ‘Lightning’. With iPhone 5, Apple replaced the old 30-pin dock connector with a double-sided new 8-pin connector. iPad 4 will also feature the same connector and since it is small, it will provide more room for the internal components which will contribute to the thinness.
Along with iPhone 5, it looks like the Nano-SIM technology will make its way towards the fourth-generation iPad as well. The Nano-SIM will provide the normal SIM functionality and alongside will also contribute to provide more internal room leading to smaller profile.
In-Cell Touch Technology
The 9.7-inch display will still be on the mainstream. Like iPhone 5, Apple won’t increase the screen size for the iPad 4 as they feel it’s useless for a tablet. The new iPad’s (iPad 3) Retina Display is gorgeous and it will be followed in the fourth-generation iPad following new manufacturing technology.
Even if the screen size and the aspect ratio remains the same, the manufacturing technology of the display panels will change. Apple adopted in-cell touch technology in iPhone 5 to make their screen thinner. Maybe a similar or the same technology will be adopted for the iPad 4.
The new iPad’s display is divided into three components, LCD, touchscreen and protective glass. The new in-cell technology integrates LCD and touchscreen together making the display thinner and lighter. This is what iPhone 5 uses, and I expect iPad 4 to use the same.
While designing the new iPad (iPad 3) Apple had an option to use IGZO display, but was not used. IGZO display from Sharp is an eco-friendly mobile display which cuts down the battery usage. This will eliminate the need of such a big battery into the iPad.
That’s why In-cell touch technology along with Sharp’s IGZO display will be a pure bliss!
Apple A6X CPU?
Taking it to the past, Apple used A4 CPU in the original iPad as well as iPhone 4. The only difference was in the clock speed, where original iPad was clocked at 1GHz and iPhone 4 was clocked at 800MHz. Similarly, Apple used A5 CPU in iPad 2 as well as iPhone 4S, but again they varied in the clock speed.
This policy was not followed in the iPad 3, rather using Apple A6 CPU in iPad 3, Apple used a tweaked version of A5 CPU and named it as Apple A5X. Apple A5X CPU is the same A5 CPU, but with quad-core GPU which was necessary to support the new iPad’s retina display.
Meanwhile iPhone 5 has ended up with Apple A6 CPU. Built with the latest 32nm manufacturing process it is said to have custom Apple-designed ARMv7 based dual core CPU and an integrated triple core SGX 543MP3 GPU. Performance wise it delivers the same performance as A5X.
So will iPad 4 feature an A6 CPU or an A6X CPU?
Apple A6 CPU is custom designed for iPhone 5 and features tri-core GPU. To support the massive Retina display of iPad (2048 x 1536), tri-core architecture won’t help. So, it is likely that Apple will redesign the A6 CPU with quad-core GPU for iPad 4 and name it as Apple A6X.
The new iPad (iPad 3) is also a 4G LTE capable device, but due to the complaints that Apple was misleading the customers, Apple dropped the name of iPad from ‘iPad WiFi + 4G’ to ‘iPad WiFi + Cellular’. The reason was, the 4G network which the new iPad supported had different radio frequencies than those used in UK and Australia.
Apple has corrected its mistake in the iPhone 5. iPhone 5 is a true 4G LTE capable phone having 4G LTE specifications as,
LTE 700 MHz Class 17 / 1700 / 2100 – GSM A1428 or LTE 850 / 1800 / 2100 – GSM A1429
This means it is able to support the 4G network from the USA as well as the UK and Australia.
iPad 4 is expected to use the same antenna supporting similar radio frequencies to make it a true 4G LTE capable device.
The use of In-Cell technology will make the display thinner which will eventually provide more room for the battery. Sharp’s IGZO display isn’t power hungry that will surely cut down the battery usage. Also, Apple A6X CPU will be built on 32nm manufacturing process and could be tweaked to reduce the battery usage, overall providing better battery life.
These technologies will surely cut down the battery usage, providing improved battery life, but that’s not all. Apple could make use of the higher capacity battery like iPhone 5 into iPad 4.
The new iPad (iPad 3) uses 11,560 mAh, 3.7V battery while iPhone 5 uses 1,440 mAH, 3.8V battery. The increase in the voltage leads to significant increase in the watt hours so making LTE possible and providing better battery life.
This will replace the massive battery of iPad 3 with a smaller and powerful battery in iPad 4. It will lead to smaller profile and will require less time to charge the iPad.
iPad 4 is too far! But iPhone 5 gave us the hints of various technologies that iPad 4 will make use of. If not all, some of the technologies can make their way into the iPad Mini too. Stay tuned.