Fresh speculation calls for early 2017 releases of 10.5 and low-cost 9.7-inch iPads

They say you should never mess with a winning formula. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, much like Android tablets, Apple iPads have stopped winning a while back, which is why the 7.9-inch Mini 4 and 12.9-inch first-gen Pro unveiled last fall didn’t get sequels this year.

Cupertino had bigger fish to fry, trying to rejuvenate product rosters that still stand a chance of surviving, thriving or even returning to healthy growth. iPads aren’t dead and buried either though, at least not yet, with another (semi-) reliable source anticipating a Q1 2017 series revival after a production start next month.

What insiders can’t agree on is the number of new iOS slates in the pipeline, and especially their screen sizes. “Taiwan-based supply chain makers” now suggest a 10.5-incher, not 10.1 or 10.9-er, is incoming to cater to the US enterprise and education sectors with a larger display than the 9.7-incher and lower price than the 12.9-inch Pro.

But if affordability is one of the newbie’s selling points, a bezelless design begins to feel like a major stretch. With an as-yet unreleased A10X processor inside, the 10.5-inch iPad (Pro?) is expected to ship roughly two million units during its first partial quarter in stores, followed by 5-6M in Q2.

The next-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro should pack the same ultra-high-end homebrewed chip, while an Android-competing “lower-price” new version of the 9.7-incher may stick with the A9X. No words on a 7.9-inch Mini or Mini Pro upgrade this time around.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).