Besides reports of chip production gearing up, we’ve heard very little else about Apple’s seventh-generation iPhone or fifth-generation iPad. However, if the iPad 5 and iPhone 5S, or iPhone 6, is to be released by this coming summer, we’ll likely receive some more news in the coming weeks and months from Apple’s foreign supply chains.
We don’t know what Apple has in mind for its fifth-generation iPad — or “iPad 5” — but Apple may have something interesting in mind, considering its patents for an iPad with a built-in stand, and one with backside controls for gaming.
We haven’t heard production on any device that matches those descriptions, but we have heard that Apple is reportedly working on its second-generation iPad Mini. On Nov. 8, Chinese news site DoNews said that Apple tapped Taiwan-based AU Optronics to begin development on a Retina Display to be fitted for its 7.9-inch tablet.
As far as the next-gen iPhone, if Apple pursues any of its recent patent filings, we may see the iPhone 5S or 6 feature advanced haptics and sensors, possibly built directly into a flexible display. A newly released patent filed in March but published in September described tactile keyboards, flexible displays and laser microphones and speakers built into an iPhone, designed to conform to the user’s needs. Flexible displays would allow for easier holding and typing, while the highly advanced tactile screens would create buttons when needed so the user can feel “keyboard” letters as they type, or touch the topography on Apple’s Maps.
It’s wishful thinking that Apple would include all these technologies in the next iPhone rather implement them over time, but it’s certainly fun to think about. Apple sold 26.9 million iPhone units and 14 million iPad units in Q4 2012.