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A new report claims Apple is gearing up to launch a second-generation iPad mini with Retina display in the third calendar quarter of this year, with a redesigned 9.7-inch iPad also in the works.
The details were reported on Monday by CNYes (via Macotakara), which said that Apple has not seen a significant decline in iPad mini shipments since the device launched in late 2012. In all, Apple is reportedly planning to ship 55 million iPad mini units in calendar 2013.
But Apple has also reportedly cut its shipment projections for its full-size 9.7-inch iPad, the report said, from 60 million units to 33 million. In all, Apple is rumored to have revised its expected iPad shipments downward from 100 million to 88 million.
Those numbers are identical to what was reported by the NPD Group in February, which claimed that full-size iPad sales "collapsed" in January. It's expected that the 7.9-inch iPad mini will become the market leader this year, cannibalizing sales of the 9.7-inch iPad.
Monday's report also indicated that Apple is planning to debut a new fifth-generation iPad with a redesigned aluminum alloy metal chassis. It's expected that the new hardware will feature the a design similar to the iPad mini, with a thinner bezel and lighter frame.
But the report suggested that Apple is likely to face yield problems with its sixth-generation full-size iPad, much like the company saw in ramping up production of the iPad mini last year.
If Apple does launch new iPads in the third quarter of this year, it would be later than was recently predicted by iMore, which has a strong track record in forecasting the company's future product plans. Rene Ritchie also claimed earlier this month that Apple's next iPad mini isn't likely to sport a high-resolution Retina display.
Prior to 2012, the iPad was updated by Apple on an annual refresh cycle. But late last year, the company surprised by launching the fourth-generation iPad about six months after the third-generation model debuted. The hardware was upgraded to an A6X processor and added the new, smaller Lightning port.