Apple to debut two new iPads in January? Not likely

There is a report floating around via overseas news site Digitimes regarding plans for Apple to introduce two new iPads into the market in January. This report claims that, in addition to making the current iPad 2 a low-cost entrant, the new iPads will each have 9.7″ screens with 2048×1056 “Retina” displays with improved backlights, quad-core A6 processors and high-capacity batteries, doubling current uptime. And the difference between these two models? The mid-range one would sport a 5MP camera on the back while the “high-end” would have an 8MP sensor.

This is likely the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard today. Firstly, high quality autofocus cameras add weight and thickness. The reason the iPad 2 has such a terrible camera? Precisely because Apple wanted to keep thickness to a minimum. And are there really millions of people clamouring for a 10-inch tablet with a high-quality shooter? Even the myriad Apple faithful would likely scoff at the $100 price difference between the “mid-range” 5MP iPad and “high-end” 8MP option. It is much more likely that, if Apple does decide to introduce two models, one will have an optional LTE chip inside, while the mid-range version will maintain its legacy HSPA+ connectivity.

The other unlikely inclusion is the bigger battery. There hasn’t been any major advances in battery technology since February 2010 (that we know of, anyway), so a double-capacity battery, even if they have significantly shrunk down the innards, would mean a thicker and heavier chassis.

There is no doubt the public is ready for another iPad; it is around this time of year, after Christmas and before the frenzied “new product” season begins, that the wheels begin turning on the Apple Rumour Machine. But this year, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It is more than likely that the new iPad will have a double-resolution display (which, at 264ppi is not even close to “Retina” quality, but hey), a faster processor and, perhaps, a better camera. But a 5 or 8MP camera on an iPad? Not going to happen.

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