Apple's next iPad will be both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, bringing back the company's old habit of iPad shrinkage.
That's according to KGI Securities analyst Mingchi Kuo, who in a note to investors last night said to expect a full-size iPad that's 15 percent thinner than the fourth-generation device and weighs 25 percent less.
The size reduction is due to a handful of tweaks, Kuo said. That includes a battery that's 25 percent to 30 percent smaller, and improvements on display panels and A-series chip technology, which now slurp up less juice. Apple also will use the same touch technology found on the iPad Mini, which is thinner than what it currently uses on its full-size iPads.
"Thinness and lighter are key attributes," Kuo said in the note. "We think one of the reasons iPad 3 and iPad 4 didn't sell as well as expected was they are both heavier and thicker than iPad 2."
Apple, of course, released both of those models within seven months of one another. The move ticked off third-generation buyers, but likely kept people from holding off on purchasing third-generation units with the company's obsolete 30-pin connector.
Kuo expects the next-generation iPad to arrive toward the end of the third calendar quarter.
This is just the latest in a series of rumors and murmurs pointing to a slimmer iPad. Apple's used what's effectively been the same outside design for the device for the past three versions, something of an abnormality when compared with the iPhone and iPod line. A report out of Japan back in December claimed Apple was working on a slimmer iPad model, though erroneously said it would be due last month. More recently, there have been a handful of third-party cases for next-gen iPads, which appear to take design cues from the iPad Mini by sporting a narrower design.
As for a reason to trust Kuo over myriad other Apple analysts, he's been spot on about Apple's plans and timing of its 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro last year, along with iPod and iPad details. Before that, there were his accurate reports of the white iPhone 4 timing, Apple's discontinuation of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and revamps of the MacBook Pro line in mid-2011.