Apple may position its rumored new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model as the go-to tablet in the education and enterprise markets, if a report Tuesday in DigiTimes is anything to go by. The Taiwanese trade publication learned from Asian supply chain makers that the Cupertino firm’s decided to add a new screen size to the lineup because existing 9.7-inch models proved too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for business users and students.
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.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be reportedly outfitted with an in-house designed A10X chip, a higher-clocked version of the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip with additional graphics cores. The same chip should be used in a second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, too.
Shipments of 10.5-inch iPads will reach two million units in the first quarter of next year and may reach five to six million units in the year, the sources said.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first reported in August and October of this year that Apple might add a brand new form factor to the iPad Pro family with a new screen size measuring at either 10.1 or 10.5 inches diagonally.
DigiTimes adds that Apple will also launch lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads to “compete with Android models.” If I’m reading this correctly, 2017 iPad lineup will focus on 9.7, 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models while the existing 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 will get a price cut to “compete with Android models.”
Another possibility: Apple kills the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and instead aims a third-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro at consumers, with 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models focused on education and enterprise markets.
I don’t think Apple should fragment iOS devices with new screen sizes just because Android makers are doing the same thing, but it may in fact be a good idea to create a new display size falling somewhere between current 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pros.
As much as I wanted to own a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I’ve managed to resist buying it because every time I grab this thing and hold it in my hands I realize it’s just too humongous a piece of glass to be carrying around comfortably.
On the other hand, I sold my iPad Air 2 because its form factor was increasingly becoming inadequate for my needs and I needed more pixels for comfortable side-by-side multitasking because I suffer from vision problems.
I’m very excited for this new iPad Pro screen size.
You? Thoughts? Hit us in comments!