Apple will release three new iPad models, lead by a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model and a “low cost” 9.7-inch model, in 2017, according to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
“We expect three new iPads (12.9″ iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5″ iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7″ iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds,” says Kuo in a report obtained by MacRumors.
Noting a continued downturn in the tablet market, Kuo adds, “As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7-inch model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.
He does not mention whether Apple will release an iPad Mini 4 successor, which, while surprising at first blush, makes a lot of sense. As MacRumors notes, given the existence of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and large phones in general, demand for Apple’s smallest tablet has likely weakened since it was first introduced in 2012. With that in mind, Apple may have made the decision to start phasing out the model in favour of its larger siblings.
Moving into 2018, Kuo says he expects a major revamp of the company’s entire iPad lineup. According to the analyst, Apple will commit to a “radical form factor” redesign in part thanks to the company’s planned adoption of AMOLED displays across its entire lineup of mobile devices.