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.