Apple is planning to launch three new versions of the iPad in March 2017. There will be a 10.9-inch version with a bezel-less display along with the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch versions, according to a report on MacRumors. MacRumors is quoting a note from Barclays Research analysts’ who have cited Asia supply chain sources for their claims.
According to the note, the bezel-less display will mean the 10.9-inch version will have the same dimensions as the current 9.7-inch model. Apple could do away with the home button on it as well. Reports from KGI Securities’ well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo as well Japanese blog Macotakara have also claimed that new iPads will be shipping in 2017.
Macotakara says the iPad Pro with 12.9-inch will have a 12MP camera with dual-tone LED flash and a P3 display resolution. The iPad Pro series will also have quad-microphones, but Apple won’t kill the 3.5mm headphone jack on these yet. The latest Barclays report says the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be the low-cost version, while the iPad mini line won’t get refreshed, but Apple will continue to sell iPad mini 4.
The big changes to the iPad series like an OLED display are expected in 2018, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to his note, which was accessed by AppleInsider, the new iPads (12.9-inch and 10.5-inch) will come with the A10X chip by Taiwan’s TSMC. In 2018, Apple could introduce the flexible AMOLED display in the iPad series, says Kuo. However, he expects the downward sales trend for the iPad to continue in 2017 as well.
Apple will face a challenging 2017 given that sales of its products are down across the board, including iPhone, which has been a profit generator in its portfolio. While Apple still has a lead in the tablet industry, sales of the devices have been falling across the board and it’s not just an iPad problem.
With smartphone screens getting bigger, tablets have been the hardest hit. However, Apple has tried to pitch the new iPads as more enterprise and productivity based with bigger displays and more powerful processors. It also included support for the new Apple Pencil and a new keyboard with the iPad Pro series.