Apple is widely anticipated to release a new iPad Pro this year, with some even expecting the company dropping the bezels, but what could that mean for the actual screen size?
Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report that goes some way into explaining the expectations for what is upcoming for the Apple and the iPad in 2017. According to Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce three iPads in 2017. The first will be the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a lower cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2. There will also be a new model that will feature a new bezel-free design mid-size model that falls in the range of between 10 and 10.5 inches.
We note the 12.9″ model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9″ iPad Pro, the 10-10.5″ model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7″ model will be the low-priced option. The former two models will have an A10X chip manufactured by TSMC (2330 TT, NT$183.5, N), while the latter comes with an A9 chip made by Samsung LSI. Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10% from 2016’s roughly 20%, given that the 10-10.5″ model may see more demand from commercial/enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7″ model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60% of total shipments of new iPads.
Previous estimations have seen expectations of around the 10.5-inch mark so these latest suggestions could mean Apple are yet to finalize and settle on the final specs. We’ve also heard that the next iPad Pro 2 could be as large as 10.9-inches but will physically be the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro given the lack of bezels. It’s safe to say that the exact dimensions are still unclear and that could be because Apple is yet to figure it out themselves, or the company is testing multiple versions.
Kuo believes “the worst has passed” for Apple’s iPad and predicts a narrower year-on-year shipment decline in 2017 as opposed to the figures seen by Apple last year.
Previous estimates have pegged a release date for the new iPad Pro 2 to be around March or April but we’ve already heard supply issues are restricting Apple’s production rate, so it could be the new iPad Pro might have to wait until later into 2017 to make an appearance.