Rumor: iPad 5 due in March of next year

Bought a new iPad for Christmas? Enjoy it while you can, because it might be obsolete in about three months.

That's according to Chinese site ZOL, which says its "sources" expect a fifth-generation iPad to launch in March 2013. The device will reportedly have a "completely new design" similar to that of the iPad mini. It's also rumored to be thinner and lighter than the existing model. ZOL doesn't say much else of note, although it does confirm that the iPad 5 will still have a 9.7" display.

Now, a March 2013 release would make perfect sense... if Apple hadn't inexplicably come out with the iPad 4 in November. That release broke the cycle. Apple's third- and second-gen iPads came out in March 2012 and March 2011, respectively, and the original hit stores on April 3, 2010.

AppleInsider speculates that Apple could be shifting to a six-month release cadence. However, given how similar the fourth-gen iPad was to its predecessor, I'm wondering if the November release wasn't just a one-time thing. In that event, the iPad 5 could simply herald a return to yearly spring launches. I hope that's the case, anyway. Even Apple fans likely wouldn't be too pleased with the alternative.

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