It’s October, and, if last year is any kind of example, Apple’s tablet announcement is right around the corner. Right before Apple’s announcements, rumors pick up speed – and the same thing is happening with Apple’s future iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 announcements.
We always expect spec bump-ups from Apple (or from any manufacturer for that matter), so the latest from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not surprise us. Kuo is renown for his predictions, some of which, although seeming farfetched, turn out to be right. One of the latest for which Kuo has been forgotten is his insistence that Apple would sell its plastic (or “budget”) iPhone was $549 off-contract.
There have been times when Kuo has been wrong in his prediction; one such example was his recent prediction prior to the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s announcement that Apple would remove Siri from the iPhone 5c in order to make it more budget-friendly for consumers.
Now, whether right or wrong, Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another announcement, this time regarding the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2. This time, Kuo says, Apple will increase both camera and its aperture. The iPad 5 and the iPad Mini 2 will both get a bump in their camera spec and leap to an 8-megapixel camera, leaving the 5MP camera of the iPad 4 and the first-generation iPad Mini.
iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 with 8MP Camera: Why the Time Has Come
Why should the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 get 8MP cameras? Apple should award a camera spec increase because of the dominance of the 5MP camera. Apple has had the 5MP camera around since the iPad 3, the first 9.7-inch Retina tablet from Cupertino. This means that the 5MP has dominated Apple’s large tablet for the last eighteen months. At the same time, however, the length of time regarding the 5MP camera is no indication that Apple will increase the camera megapixel count; after all, Apple has kept the 8MP camera in the iPhone experience since the iPhone 4 (now three years old).
iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 to See Aperture Increase and Sensor Size Area Expansion
Apple is said to possibly introduce a larger aperture (from f/2.4 to f/2.2), as well as a larger active sensor area (15% size increase) and larger pixels. As you know from Apple’s recent iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s announcement, the company decided to go with 1.5-micron pixels, a 0.25-micron increase from 1.75m pixels.
Apple claims that the secret to producing a better camera is that “bigger size = better picture.” As I said in an earlier article, however, the small increase in the pixel size does not necessitate an overall better photo. From the videos I’ve seen so far that have tested the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s cameras, the differences in picture quality are miniscule – the one difference being the benefit of the dual-LED flash on the iPhone 5s.
In any case, the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 may also get the aperture increase from f/2.4 to f/2.2 and an increased area for the active sensor. In other words, as Phil Schiller said at the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c announcement, let in more light, capture a larger area in the photo, and add the five-element lens, and the result is a better photo.
The five-element lens does some pretty impressive stuff: there is a portion of the process performed by the five-element lens where the camera is mapping out each pixel in the photo to make sure that each tiny unit of the picture comes out just right.
The picture that you get has not only been mapped out before it arrives in your camera roll; it has been selected from among a “burst” of shots the camera takes before choosing the best picture. This feature combines Samsung’s Best Shot and Burst Shot modes into one.
Kuo has been wrong in the past, but he has also gotten some predictions right as well. He has yet to predict, however, that the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will both feature Apple’s latest Touch ID tech – so we’ll have to keep on the lookout for this prediction.
What features and specs would you like to see in both the iPad 5 and the iPad Mini 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.