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The Next iPad: Thinner, More mini-Like, and Coming in March?

When the fourth-generation iPad launched earlier this fall, mere months after the release of the original Retina-sporting iPad, many Apple devotees expressed extreme discontent that the company shipped two iPads in such a short time frame. The heartbreak could continue; a new report suggests that Apple plans to release a new tablet next Spring, bringing design elements of the iPad mini to its bigger brother.

Macotakara claims the fifth-gen iPad will launch in March 2013, neatly lining up with the March release dates of the second- and third-gen iPads. Making the iPad more iPad mini-esque in design likely means adopting the smaller model's smaller side bezels, which matches up with the website's claim that the fifth-gen model will be two-thirds of an inch narrower than the current iteration. The alleged update will also shave a couple of millimeters off the iPad's depth, nearly matching the mini's 0.28-inch (7.2mm) slimness.

An aesthetic redesign could quell complaints about the fourth-generation's iPad more subtle upgrades. Sure, the fourth-gen's beefy A6X processor blows the pants off the third-gen's A5X CPU, but other than that, the only major difference was the move to the new Lightning port, which led to grumbling by some.

If the rumor proves true, one has to wonder about Apple's plans for future releases. Was the release of the fourth-gen iPad a fluke, a one-shot deal designed to bring Lightning uniformity across the Apple lineup, or is the company ramping up its release schedule to better iterate in the rapidly moving tablet world? Time will tell.

Via 9to5Mac