Microsoft's Surface tablet said to be forcing Apple toward launching thinner and lighter iPad 4 model.
Despite the fact that Apple announced a fourth-generation iPad (and an iPad Mini) just seven months after the iPad 3 launched, the firm may already be working on a thinner, lighter model for launch early next year.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, the iPad 4 and iPad Mini may not be enough to beat competition stemming from Microsoft's hotly anticipated Surface tablet. Kuo wrote in a note to investors that due to the threat Surface poses, Apple could be pressured into launching a lighter and thinner model of the 9.7-inch iPad.
"Though the iPad mini is expected to be successful, we think launching the lighter, thinner 9.7-inch iPad as quickly as possible matters more for Apple strategically," Kuo said.
The analyst expects Apple to integrate "GF DITO" (otherwise known as GF2) touchscreen technology into the new iPad. The iPad Mini already utilizes GF2, with the tech contributing to the slate's 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter body when compared the iPad 4.