A trio of new iPads that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted for this year may not launch until the second half of 2017, according to supply chain reports cited by trade publication DigiTimes. The new 9.7, 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPads won’t launch before summer because they’re still in the planning stage.
The refreshed 9.7-inch model is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter while volume production of the other two models should kick off in the second quarter of this year. For what it’s worth, DigiTimes said in December 2016 that lower-than-expected yield rates for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 debut of new iPads.
KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has called for a trio of new tablets from Apple this year: a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad model with a friendly price range, a brand new iPad with narrower side bezels and a screen size measuring 10.5 inches diagonally and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The 10.5 and 12.9-inch models are expected to run an enhanced version of iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip and replace the existing 9.7-inch product line. The upgraded 9.7-inch model may be driven by the A9X chip from the original iPad Pro because it should be targeted at the education and enterprise sectors.
As recently explained by Studio Neat designer Dan Provost, the width of the new 10.5-inch iPad would be the same height as iPad mini while retaining the screen resolution of iPad Pro and boosting pixel density from 264ppi to 326ppi.
In other words, the 10.5-inch iPad would allow two full-sized windows to be displayed side-by-side in iOS’s Split View multitasking mode. DigiTimes’ report corroborates Kuo’s prediction for three new iPads this year.
Still, the trade publication makes no mention of any possible refresh to the existing iPad mini models. DigiTimes does note, however, that the forthcoming more affordable 9.7-inch model should become Apple’s new entry-level tablet, suggesting iPad mini could be on its way out.