Report: Apple Developing A Thinner And Cooler 9.7-inch Retina-Equipped iPad For A Q4 Release

There might be a new new iPad soon. Apple is reportedly retooling the new iPad to feature a different battery and LCD backlighting scheme, resulting in a device that’s less hot and with the thickness and weight similar to the iPad 2. This new model will hit sometime before the holiday season and, since we’re already aboard the rumor express, let’s assume it will launch alongside the iPad mini, also rumored for the same time.

The word comes from Digitimes relaying several Chinese news reports. Apple is apparently looking at several different ways to reduce the device’s internal temperature. Reportedly, this upcoming model will employ an improved battery and a single LED backlight rather than the two used in the new iPad. The report’s sources indicate that this shouldn’t impact the luminosity and clarity of the iPad’s Retina display.

In addition to the slight reworking of internal components, the so-called iPad 3.5 will use Sharp’s IGZO touchscreen rather than a Samsung-sourced panel like in the current model. This matches up with the reported component lists of the heavily rumored iPad mini.

If this rumor turns out to be correct, it would mark a stark departure from Apple’s usual release cycle, which through the first three generations had a yearly release cycle. It’s entirely possible that this full-size iPad update was not planned, but rather in response to the harsh criticism to the new iPad’s excessive heat and slightly thicker design. It’s a different story for the iPad mini, though, which if it really exists, was likely in the pipeline for more than a year. Either way, you might want to leave a spot open at the top of your Santa wish list ’cause all signs point to some sort of iPad launching prior to the holidays.