Apple will release three new iPads this year — a 12.9-inch Pro model, a (newly sized) 10-10.5 inch high-end model, and a 9.7-inch low-priced version — according to a note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Quo, reports 9to5Mac.
9to5Mac says the new iPads are expected in the second quarter of 2017.
The iPad doesn’t get predictable yearly updates like the iPhone, which means consumers are usually guessing as to when Apple will refresh its line of tablets.
The note describes the new 12.9-inch model as the second generation to the existing 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch model, the same screen size as the current classic iPad “Air” model, as the low-priced option.
But it also says that the screen size of the third model, which it describes as high-end, will be between 10 and 10.5 inches, and 9to5Mac says this indicates that Apple may still be deciding between different sizes.
It does not mention a new 7.9 inch (the size of the current iPad mini) version, which Japanese Apple rumours blog Mac Otakara speculated it will launch back in October. Mac Otakara has correctly called pre-release Apple features in the past but has also incorrectly predicted new products as well.
The note estimates that increased demand for the 1o-10.5 inch model, which 9to5Mac describes as a wildcard, will help to narrow the 20% fall in iPad shipments seen in 2016 to 10% this year, and that “new-entrant supplier” Samsung is the biggest winner amongst the new iPads’ suppliers. Samsung LSI (its large-scale integration business which manufactures core components) will supply the chips in the 9.7-inch low-priced version.
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