Industry watchers expect Apple Inc., to unveil a fifth generation 9.7-inch iPad and a refreshed 7.0-inch iPad Mini on Tuesday.

When it does, the Cupertino, Calif-based electronics company will be showcasing the “most important” upgrade to its tablet since the original device was launched in 2010, according to Brian White analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

White said he met with numerous component suppliers for Apple in China and Taiwan last week and found a great deal about the new iPad’s specs.

He said the fifth generation iPad will be 15 per cent thinner, seven to 10 per cent narrower and about 20 per cent to 30 per cent lighter than previous versions.

The device will be powered by a variant of the 64-bit A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC) which first appeared on the iPhone 5S last month.

The iPad will also be available in four storage capacities – 16 GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB – just like the 2012 version.

The new device will sell for about $499 to $799.

By contrast, the iPad Mini 2 will only sport “incremental upgrades,” said White.

Among the new features of the iPad Mini 2 will be a A6X chip in lieu of the dual core A5 found on the first iPad Mini, a new colour scheme similar to that of the iPhone 5S and an improved camera.

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