A new report Monday from the fairly reliable Japanese outlet Mac Otakara claims that Apple’s rumored 10.9-inch iPad Pro model (10.1/10.5-inch, depending on a source) will have the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch models thanks to a lot skinnier bezel on the left and right side.
Citing unnamed Taiwanese sources, the publication reports that the device will also be a tad thicker than the existing 9.7-inch iPads at 7.5 mm, making it thicker than the iPad Air 2 (6.1 mm) and the same thickness as the original iPad Air.
“Informed” sources told Mac Otakara that the device will retain the top bezel where the front-facing FaceTime camera is found. The iconic Home button should be removed though the report stops short of specifying how Apple plans to replicate its functionality.
Apple could replace the physical Home button with either on-screen controls or an in-screen Home button that it’s expected to implement on an ‘iPhone 8’ next year.
As for the increased thickness, the extra space could be used to accommodate a bigger battery, an additional display layer containing an array of 3D Touch sensors, a higher-resolution screen or other yet unknown hardware additions.
Interestingly enough, Mac Otakara mentions that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will also see its thickness increase by 0.3 mm to 7.2 mm versus the current iPad Pro thickness of 6.9 mm (the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is 6.1 mm deep).
Last but not least, the report states that an upcoming 9.7-inch iPad Pro model will be replacing the existing 7.9-inch iPad mini 4. That rumored device is expected to have the same size and thickness as Apple’s diminutive tablet, sources told Mac Otakara.