Could a change in production schedule be the latest sign that Apple plans to push the iPad 5 release date back to the tail end of 2013?

That's what one outlet seems to think.

A new report from DigiTimes claims the next iPad won't be coming to store shelves this summer, with Apple eyeing an iPad 5 release date sometime towards the tail end of 2013. According to unidentified sources, who apparently have direct access to the company's iPad supply chain, the iPad 5 will enter production sometime during July or August, presumably setting up a launch during late September or early October.

The sources were also the latest to claim that Apple's next 9.7 inch tablet will ditch its old bezel design in favor of the slim bezel introduced with the iPad mini last year, and the iPad 5 will apparently be noticeably thinner and lighter than its predecessor. There seems to be quite a bit of consensus about this fact across the vast majority of the iPad related leaks to emerge since the iPad 4 was released last year. It's certainly not a guarantee, but likely the best we'll ever get when it comes to Apple rumors.

A number of retailers also recently slashed pricing on a variety of third-generation iPads, fueling speculation that various companies were attempting to make room for an influx of new iPads and corresponding accessories.

Of course, Apple is remaining as tight-lipped as ever when it comes to the iPad 5 release date, just as they have with iPhone 5S release date speculation, iPad mini 2 rumors, and the wide variety of desktop/laptop refreshes that are rumored each year. The company hasn't even confirmed plans to release another full-size iPad during 2013, though an iPad 5 release date seems all but certain given the company's yearly roll-out of refreshed mobile devices since the launch of the original iPhone.

Check back with iDigitalTimes.com for all the latest Apple news, including up-to-date information and speculation on the iPad 5 release date as its available.

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