Apple is expected to launch three new iPad models in various sizes in 2017, but we may have to wait until the second half of the year to get our hands on them.
Sources in Apple’s supply chain have confirmed earlier reports that three new models are coming — but they’re unlikely to arrive this spring as previously anticipated.
Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to claim Apple will launch new iPads this year with 9.7-, 10.5-, and 12.9-inch displays. Now, “sources from the related upstream supply chain” have corroborated this report with Digitimes.
The 10.5-inch iPad is expected to replace the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, while the new 9.7-inch device will become an entry-level iPad at a more affordable price point. It’s thought Apple will use an older A9 processor and leave out Apple Pencil support to keep costs down.
The new 12.9-inch model will obviously replace the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and like the 10.5-inch model, it’s expected to offer Apple’s next-generation A10X processor. There has been no talk of a new iPad mini, which could mean the end of Apple’s ultra-portable tablet.
Kuo previously told investors that these devices would arrive this spring — but Digitimes says we’re likely to be waiting a lot longer. “These tablets may not be announced or even released in the market until the second half of 2017,” reads the report.
It’s thought Apple will put the smallest model into mass production during the first quarter of the year — perhaps because it expects it to be the biggest seller. The company is said to be planning to target the device at the education sector.
The 10.5- and 12.9-inch options are expected to go into production during the second quarter.