Apple is reportedly prepping a new tablet with a screen size between the two current iPad Pro models. This unconfirmed information comes from an industry analyst, who also predicts the second generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro won’t be released until 2017.
Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities said in a research note “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.” He didn’t cite a source for this information.
The display in Apple’s 12.9-inch model has 78% more area than the 9.7-inch one, so it’s certainly arguable that there’s room for a 10.5-inch iPad Pro between those two. Kuo indicated that this version would appeal to business and education buyers.
Presumably, the 10.5-inch device’s cost would be about $699, halfway between the price of the two current models. A version of the Apple Smart Keyboard is also a strong possibility… if this tablet turns out to be real.
In addition, the KGI Securities analyst predicted that Apple would introduce model with a display the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but at a lower price point. This could be the replacement for the $499 iPad Air 2. The only other detail reveled is that this computer will use the Apple A9X processor, the same as in the current iPad Pros, while the other new devices will go to a more powerful A10X chip.
Kuo’s note made no mention of replacement for the iPad mini 4. It’s possible Apple is moving away from this size, as sales of this 7.9-inch model have slowed as people instead purchased larger smartphones, like the iPhone 6s Plus.
Kuo also didn’t say anything about a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Why isn’t clear, as one is generally expected to be on store shelves next spring, a year after the debut of the original.
Another mystery is why Apple would delay the release of the next-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro to 2017, and not introduce it this fall, a year after the original hit store shelves.