Apple's decision to launch the 128 GB iPad in February seems to make rumors of a new model in March or April appear unlikely, suggesting the fall as a more likely time for a refresh.
iLounge was among the sites to suggest a Spring 2013 date for the launch of the iPad 5, although the site has since backtracked from that claim to suggest that the device will be arriving in or around October. The generally reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also predicted a Q3 launch.
World of Apple's Alex Brooks notes that Apple's release of the 128 GB iPad next week lends weight to the idea that Apple will henceforth be returning to an annual release cycle for new iPad models, keeping the tablet more closely in line with iPhone launches and major iOS updates.
This is where the 128GB iPad comes in, the release sends a clear message that despite rumours to the contrary Apple will not release a new iPad in March or April and the next update to the iPad will come in October alongside the second iPad mini, iOS 7 and will ready Apple for another blockbuster year end.
Brooks notes that it would be strange for Apple to return to releasing the iPad midway through the iPhone/iOS cycle, suggesting that the double update for the iPad in 2012 was an opportunity to both align the iPad with the launch schedule for the rest of Apple's device lineup and iOS and to make a wholesale shift to the new Lightning connector.