Apple might drop new iPad Pro with Face ID in June

By

bezel free
Prepare for an all-new iPad Pro.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will deliver a revamped iPad Pro during the June quarter of this year, according to a new report.

Inspired by the iPhone X, the device is expected to have significantly slimmer bezels and Face ID, and could make up for weaker-than-expected demand for Apple’s latest smartphones. Apple could also be planning a smaller, more affordable version of HomePod.

Since Apple unveiled the “future of iPhone” last September, we’ve been impatiently waiting to see what its changes would mean for the iPad. Will the next-generation iPad Pro have an edge-to-edge display? Will it have Face ID? Will it lose its physical Home button?

iPad Pro revamp lands this June

Yes, yes, and yes, according to Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Zhang said Apple will deliver an all-new iPad Pro with tiny bezels and Face ID late in the second quarter of this year. The device is ready to enter mass-production.

Zhang “thinks the new devices can offset some weakness that he thinks is persisting with sales of the iPhone X,” reports Barron’s. He is predicting iPad production to total 16 million to 18 million units during the quarter, with 6 million to 8 million units being the new iPad Pro.

Zhang’s claims corroborate previous reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Heads up for a smaller HomePod

Zhang also expects Apple to launch a smaller version of its impressive HomePod speaker. Its existing model is priced at $349, but a more affordable alternative could help Apple “further penetrate the low-end smart speaker market” which is dominated by Amazon and Google.

Zhang doesn’t say when the new HomePod might arrive, but says it’s possible we’ll see it before the end of 2018. It would certainly be in Apple’s interest to make it available before the lucrative holiday shopping season, when the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home sell like hot cakes.

Finally, Zhang says he’s not surprised by the “quick cooldown” of iPhone X sales in recent months. He believes fans are now waiting for the rumored 6.1-inch model that’s expected to arrive later this year, and will become the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s most recent lineup.