Apple to deliver 3 new iPads this spring, but no new mini

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iPad Pro
The iPad lineup could look a lot different this spring.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to unveil three new iPad devices this spring, but none of them will cater to fans of the iPad mini.

According to one reliable analyst, the company is focusing its efforts on updating the 9.7-inch iPad and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and on introducing a new model with a 10- to 10.5-inch display.

The iPad lineup is beginning to look a little long in the tooth. The only model introduced in 2016 was the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the iPad mini haven’t seen a refresh since 2015. The iPad Air 2 has been the same since October 2014.

With sales continuing to fall, Apple needs to do something to revitalize its tablet business. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, its plan is to release three new iPads this spring, all of which will have large displays.

In addition to a refreshed 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple is expected to introduce a brand new model with a 10- to 10.5-inch display that could replace the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. A new 9.7-inch iPad will also be available, but it will reportedly be a more affordable model.

It’s unclear whether the cheaper device will support Apple Pencil or the Smart Connector, but Kuo says it won’t have the new A10X chip, which will be exclusive to the larger models. Instead, it will be powered by the same A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s series.

There is no mention of a new iPad mini in Kuo’s note to investors, which was obtained by AppleInsiderThis could mean Apple is giving up on the iPad mini lineup, or that it will be saving this refresh for later in the year.

Despite three new models, Kuo expects iPad shipments to fall again this year — though the decline isn’t expected to be quite as steep as 2016’s. “The worst has passed” for the iPad, he says.

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  • Richard Ludwig

    Can we please stop saying “there will be no new iPad Mini”? Just because his holiness Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t mention a Mini, doesn’t mean there won’t be one. Kuo doesn’t work for Apple, he doesn’t know Apple’s plans, he’s making educated guesses (and happens to be right far more often than other so called analysts). He doesn’t even comment on the Mini – it’s just an assumption people are making based on the lack of mention from a rumor (I wish I could italicize that).

  • John Wood

    I really like my iPad Mini and if I were unable to replace it with a new one at some future date I would be very disappointed.

  • Can’t imagine why they’d further dilute sales by introducing another size only inch bigger than the 9.7″ As for lacking mini updates, it doesn’t surprise me with the Plus iPhones nearly filling in for the small tablet spot.