iPad 5 Release Date Set for March

The iPad 5 release date could be as early as March.

Topeka Capital Markets Analyst Brian White released a new report today based on his observations from this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that points to Apple releasing the next-generation iPad and iPad Mini in March.

White was able to come to the conclusion based off the "checks" from CES.

He also believes that the next-generation iPad will be lighter and thinner than the current model and that the form factor of the iPad Mini will be similar to the one on the first version.

White's comments are in agreement with a previous report released by a popular Japanese blog Macotakara.

Macotakara previously reported that Apple is planning to launch the new tablet at the end of the first quarter of 2013, according to information it received from an inside source.

The source revealed to the site that the design of the new iPad will be similar to the iPad Mini, as it is meant to be thinner and lightweight.

It is rumored to be 4mm, 17mm, and 2mm smaller in height, width, and depth than the current models.

Macotakara is normally a dependable source of accurate information as the publication correctly predicted the design of this year's iPod Nano and iPod Touch.

However, some analysts have pointed out that a March release would be extremely early for Apple, as the company just launched the 4th generation model two months ago. This would be the its second major tablet release in five months.

Apple is also rumored to be releasing an iPad Mini 2 in the near future.

RBC analyst Doug Freedman had also made an earlier claim that Apple was accelerating its plans for the second-generation iPad Mini.