Apple’s 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Launch Planned For Early 2017, Shipping With A10X CPU

Production of iPad Pro 2 was rumored to take place in December, but it seems like Apple planning to release 10.5-inch iPad Pro with ‘A10X’ CPU in first quarter of 2017. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has outlined a new research report about its expectations for the future of Apple’s iPad lineup, predicting three new iPads ranging from 9.7-inchs to 12.9-inches to be released next year. According to Kuo here is everything you need to know.

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In this case, Apple is aiming to introduce a new 10.5-inch model next year to go along with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a cheaper and low-cost variant of 9.7-inch iPad model. However Kuo hasn’t made any mention about the fate of the current 7.9-inch iPad mini, though, many have assumed that model may be phased out as the recent 5.5-inch iPhone “Plus” model have helped lessen demand for Apple’s smallest tablet range.

Although the 10.5-inch iPad rumor reaffirmed by this new report, once again pointing to the possibility of a new, iPad being sold early next year, with Apple apparently keen to take advantage of education and enterprise markets – that prefer the larger screen of the iPad Pro but simply cannot justify its increased price when buying in bulk.

Without Apple Pencil support, the new iPad would be less powerful than iPad Pro models, would take advantage of a new A10X CPU, which is already rumored to be the heart of next year’s tablets. The latest claims of a 10.5-inch iPad come from the notoriously unreliable DigiTimes.

While Kuo is from KGI Securities has a very good track record with these kinds of things, so DigiTimes may actually be about to get one right for a change!

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The launch of a mid-range 1-.5-inch iPad may also tie into a report from Kuo that has Apple ready to produce a lower-end iPad in the 9.7-inch size, which would potentially help the company compete with less costly tablets running Android.

Apple is launching the 10.5-inch iPad mainly because 10-inch and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, the sources said. Its existing 9.7-inch iPad may be too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated.

Furthermore, Kuo also predicts “revolutionary” changes for the iPad lineup for 2018 “at the earliest,” with Apple making “radical” changes to the iPad’s design and shifting to an AMOLED display.

Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel. 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.

Until now the iPad mini has been the entry level iPad for those on a budget, but a larger offering at the same price point, could be even cheaper than current 9.7-inch ipads would potentially help Apple stave off competition from Android-touting commodity hardware.

With progression of a 10.5-inch iPad slated to begin next month, we expect to start seeing leaked photos of parts. Kuo remains conservative in his predictions of ipad shipments, cutting his total 2016 shipment forecast from 45-50 million to 35-40 million due to large part to a lack of new models before the end of the year. He even predicts shipments will continue to decline as part of general trends in the slate/tablet market.

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(Source: DigiTimes)

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