Rumors emerged this week of a possible new addition to the iPad family, the iPad Maxi, but how viable are these reports? (Photo: Apple)

With Apple's annual developers' conference (WWDC 2013) just days away we can expect the rumor mill concerning upcoming Apple devices to go a little haywire. People will wonder if a new iPad Mini 2 with Retina display will be revealed, a slimmer iPad 5 release date will be named or if we'll finally see that plastic iPhone 5S in multiple colors, with a 5-inch screen emerge (Lord, say it ain't so). But when people start naming possible new Apple products after something reminiscent of ladies' hygienic products, this is where I must draw the line. This week, however, the rumor that Apple is creating a new tablet, named the "iPad Maxi" has managed to show just how far device crazed fans will go for a hint of anything new on the horizon.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 5S, iPad 5 Release Date Pushed Back While New Devices And Software Development Hinted

So how did this latest iPad rumor get started? The news came via a Korean website called ETNews.com which reports that Apple is working on a larger iPad with a whopping 12.9-inch display and would be the bigger sibling of both the iPad 5 and the iPad Mini 2 once they arrive. This would make the latest iPad over three inches larger in diagonal screen length than the current full-sized iPads which feature a 9.7-inch display. The site goes on to dub the new iPad as the "iPad Maxi", much to the chagrin of Apple I'm sure. According to the report, the new iPad Maxi would launch in the first part of 2014 and would target those who are looking into ultrabooks as options.

I'm not saying it's impossible that Apple could be planning a larger iPad, but to me it seems very improbable. A device that large could be quite cumbersome, and I personally don't see it gaining a huge following as the current iPad sizing seems plenty roomy enough. Add to it the fact that iPad Mini sales pretty much showed consumers are looking for more affordable options. Bigger devices often mean more cost and so this rumor seems highly unlikely to come to fruition.

iPad 4 and iPad Mini See Price Reduction: Are New Models On the Way?

 

Apple reduced it's pricing this week on refurbished iPad 4 and iPad Mini leading some to believe newer models are on the way (Photo: Reuters)


Still there are a few rumors that are trickling down concerning the next Apple iPad devices, which may hold a bit more water. Last week Apple dropped its prices on refurbished iPad 4 and iPad Minis which some believe could mean new versions - iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 -- could be on their way. In addition, several retailers including Wal-Mart reduced the price of iPad 4 by $30.

Many expect news of the latest iPad 5 or iPad Mini 2 will be released at the upcoming Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for early June.

SEE ALSO: Pad Mini 2 Release Date Rumors and Specs 2013: 5 Things To Expect

Meanwhile, here's a quick roundup of rumored features and specs for the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.

 

iPad 5 Rumors: Specs, Features and Release Date

iPad 5 Specs and Features - So, the iPad 5 has rumors surrounding it, similar to those for the iPhone 5S or 6, and it has everything to do with maintaining size while increasing sleekness. As a result the iPad 5 is expected to come with practically no bezels at all and therefore would feature Sharp's IGZO screen technology. In addition, the iPad 5 is expected to have better 4G-connectivity and is expected to ship with the latest and fastest chip Apple will offer, presumed to be the A7. It will also likely come running the latest native operating system, soon to be revealed at WWDC, iOS 7.

iPad 5 Release Date - as to the release date on iPad 5 there's no solid evidence, but most are putting their money on a fall release, naming September as a date much like the device releases we saw last fall. Tim Cook hinted earlier this year not to look for new devices till the Fall and so this seems the best guess as to when the next iPad 5 will arrive.

iPad Mini 2 Rumors: Specs, Features and Release Date

 

The iPad Mini two was insanely popular upon release but many fans hope the iPad Mini two will feature some updates like the coveted Retina display (Photo: Reuters)


iPad Mini 2 Specs and Features - The iPad Mini was a huge success for Apple, but fans noted a few things they wish had been incorporated into the first iPad Mini and from the looks of things, iPad Mini 2 may feature them. According to rumors, the iPad Mini 2 will see improvements to the display, making it "Retina" like the bigger brother iPad 4. The new iPad Mini 2 screen would feature a 2048 x 1536 resolution with 324 pixels per inch.

In addition the new iPad Mini 2 will likely see a processor upgrade, moving it to Apple's powerful dual-core A6X processor making it a fairly desirable choice for gaming, streaming media and other graphic intensive users. And speaking of graphics, the new iPad Mini 2's camera will also see an upgrade to an 8-megapixel sensor for the back and 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

With these upgraded specs however, we can expect the slimness of the device will suffer a little and the new iPad Mini is expected to see a thickness increase from 7.2mm to 7.5mm. This will also help accommodate a larger battery, which will be needed to support upgraded graphic and processor specs.

iPad Mini 2 Release Date - Like the iPad 5, it's not expected we'll see an updated iPad Mini revealed until sometime this Fall. Last year the iPad 3 and the original iPad Mini released together and we think the same may be true this year for the latest models.

Additional iPad 5, iPad Mini 2 Rumors

Touchless Gestures -A few other frequent rumors surrounding both devices are that Apple may be looking into motion detection features similar to the Air Gesture that's popular with Galaxy S4 and allows users to control the device without ever touching it. This feature allows users to control the device without physical touch.

Wireless Charging - This rumor continues to be strong for all iDevices as Apple has submitted patents, which would include a kind of cover for iPads, which allow for wireless charging. We've also heard that solar charging is another possible option as patents were submitted for this kind of innovation as well.

Fingerprint Sensor - This rumor, of course, is all the rage across Apple devices and is particularly focused upon for the next iPhone 5S or 6. Apple recently acquired AuthenTec, which is a well-known name in fingerprint scanning technology. In addition, a PayPal executive also dropped some hints recently that an iPhone or other mobile would soon feature electronic payment systems with fingerprint authentication, fueling the rumor that this may be the new face of Apple devices, including the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad 5.

For more Apple iPad 5, iPad Mini 2 or iPhone 6 rumored features and specs news, check out the posts below.

iPad 5 Release Date 2013: 5 Rumored Specs To Watch For [VIDEO]

iPad Mini 2 Release Date Won't Include Retina Display: 3Q iPad Mini Refresh Expected While New Display And Hardware Specs To Arrive In 2014

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