Apple Electronics News

Apple to reportedly introduce a trio of new iPads, including a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in 2017

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After dropping some pretty exciting and solid deeds on the upcoming iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro line-ups, coveted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report outlining his expectations — generally accurate — for future iPad Pro models.

Apple is reportedly planning to release a trio of new iPads to stabilize and boost its dropping tablet sales in the current fiscal year. The new models, expected to debut in 2017, will include a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, alongside 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a “low-cost” 9.7-inch iPad, reports Kuo.

He believes that though these new releases won’t help uplift the detrimental shipments and sales figures, but could help Cupertino drive bid for tenders from the commercial and educational markets. It has also been previously noticed that Apple’s tablet PCs have an upper hand in catering to needs of the enterprise market as compared to consumers.

Here’s an excerpt from the research study, first obtained by MacRumors:

If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5” model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5” iPad Pro in 2017.

In addition, we estimate the 12.9” iPad Pro 2 and 10.5” iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7” model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.

Kuo’s report, however, doesn’t shed even a speck of light on the fate of the current 7.9-inch iPad Mini line-up. This could either be due to insufficient information about the changes coming to this product, or the possibility that the Mini iPad could be phased out due to reduced demand and increase in sales of the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus model.

Future Plans

Looking further into the future of Apple’s vision, Kuo predicts some ‘revolutionary changes’ for the iPad Pro lineup to be introduced in 2018 at the earliest. He believes that Cupertino could forego the current Retina display technology to adapt a flexible AMOLED panel. This display panel — which might hold some similarities to the Samsung Edge smartphones — could also help introduce some radical changes in form factor design & user behavior as well.

He further elaborates the same point and says,

We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest.

If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments.

In addition to this, he sees the tablet shipments declining further due to the lack of new and updated models. He has, thus, cut down his 2016 shipping forecast from 45–50 million to 35–40 million for the current fiscal year 2016-17. Samsung, who’s been continuosly iterating its  product lineup to incorporate first-of-its-kind features(flexible display, iris scanner) into smartphones and tablets has over taken Apple in the premium smartphone segment.


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