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Fresh iPad rumor: Thinner, lighter version due in March

The report also calls for an iPad Mini with a Retina display.

The next iPad could share some of its characteristics with the iPad Mini.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Another iPad already?

Apple is prepping a thinner, lighter fifth-generation iPad that shares some of its design cues with the recently released iPad Mini, according to Japanese blog Macotakara. The report was picked up and translated by 9to5Mac.

The report also calls for the next iPad Mini to be released with a Retina display, following other similar reports. The addition wouldn't be surprising, as it was a key missing feature with the original iPad Mini.

The release of a next-generation iPad would drastically shorten an already shortened product life cycle for Apple's main tablet. The fourth-generation iPad was released last month, just eight months after the third-generation iPad, and the proposed next version would come just five months later. The March timing has been the company's usual launch period for the iPad.

Macotakara cited unnamed sources for its report, and it's unclear whether Apple would want to release an iPad so soon after the last one.

But looking back, the fourth-generation iPad could have been the anomaly, a version released to ensure all of Apple's products had the same Lightning dock connector.

CNET contacted Apple for comment, and we'll update the story when we get a response.

Macotakara calls for the next iPad to have dimensions of 4mm in height, 17mm in width, and 2mm in depth, which is a near physical impossibility. The more likely scenario is that those dimensions represent the difference. The current iPad is 241.2mm in height, 185.7mm in width, and 9.4mm in depth.

Presumably, the next iPad would pick up the white and silver and black and slate elements from the iPad Mini, which in turn picked them up from the iPhone 5.