Apple is set to unveil its next-generation tablets as it expands iPhone 5s and 5c availability around the world.
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Apple is expected to announce new versions of the iPad and iPad Mini at a special event on Oct. 22. Official invitations have not yet been issued, but sources close to AllThingsD and Current Editorials have confirmed the date. In addition to new iPads, it is possible Apple will offer information about new Macs and its Mavericks operating system.
The next-generation iPad, or iPad 5, will be completely redesigned compared to the last model. The iPad 4 debuted last fall, just six months after the iPad 3. The iPad 3 and 4 are identical save for the iPad 4's Lightning port and processor. Externally, they were the same. The iPad 5, however, will adopt the design language of the iPad Mini. It will be thinner and lighter, and will include Apple's 64-bit A7 processor. The screen will stick with the 9.7-inch measurement and Retina resolution.
The iPad Mini is on deck to get a Retina display and the A7 chip, too, said AllThingsD. The overall shape and design will remain much the same as it is today.
There's been no confirmation one way or the other about Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor and whether it will be added to either iPad. Chances are about 50/50, depending on which analysts and Apple watchers you choose to believe. Apple introduced Touch ID with the iPhone 5s, which is one of the phone's defining features. It lets owners use their fingerprints to unlock the device and authorize iTunes purchases.
Though the date of the event has been finalized, the location is not yet known. It is worth pointing out that Oct. 22 is the same date that Nokia World kicks off. Nokia is expected to announce a handful of new phones, including its first phablet. It may also introduce a tablet of its own. The one thing Nokia has going for it is that Nokia World is taking place in Abu Dhabi, many time zones ahead of Pacific Time in the U.S. Oct. 22 also happens to be the day that Microsoft's second-generation Surface tablets go on sale.
Apple doesn't play games with the timing of its events. It knows what it needs to do to control the news cycle and overwhelm news about its competitors.
Beyond the iPad event, on Wednesday Apple announced a significant expansion of iPhone 5s and 5c availability. On Oct. 25, the company's new smartphones will go on sale in 25 new countries.
Those countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. The iPhone 5s and 5c will expand to yet more countries on Friday, Nov. 1, including: Armenia, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
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