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Apple’s plans for this year sound robust, between the long-awaited iPhone 6, and the even longer-awaited iWatch, both rumored to be scheduled for an autumn release. As it turns out, Apple will also be releasing a new and improved version of the iPad this year as well, with a new report claiming that the refreshed version of the device has entered production at manufacturers in Asia.

According to Bloomberg, new versions of the full-sized iPad as well as the somewhat smaller iPad Mini have both entered production, with plans to reveal both devices either at the end of this quarter, or the beginning of next quarter. While there may be plenty of improvements and changes coming to the iPads, the report offers up one relatively concrete tweak: an anti-reflective coating for the display. The report says that this will make the iPad easier to read – presumably while in sunlight, which has always been a weak spot not only for the iPad, but for most high end electronic devices.

The post also adds that Apple’s tablet performance hasn’t been great lately, as the division has suffered “two straight quarters of declines.” The reasons for that aren’t too hard to guess at, though. When the iPad first hit the scene, it was the first major tablet to actually succeed, and it did so mainly by enlarging the already white-hot iPhone. But now there are no shortage of tablet options out there, from higher end competitors from the likes of Samsung, to Amazon’s popular line of Kindle Fire tablets that can compete with Apple in terms of size and usability, and which are always less expensive.

Furthermore, the line between tablet and smartphone is even starting to blur, with more devices that push the boundaries of how big a phone can get, and with rumors of Apple even releasing two new iPhone models: one that’s still under 5 inches, and one that’s well over it, which will probably be categorized as a “phablet.”

Will Apple’s new iPhones cannibalize its own iPad market? Will the anti-reflective coating work as well as one might hope and reinvigorate Apple’s tablet sales? Will we hear about these new tablets this fall? So many questions.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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