Apple will be introducing a new 10.5″ iPad Pro to go along with their 9.7″ and 12.9″ iPad Pro lineup, at least according to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new model lineup should be introduced in 2017 but where does that leave the iPad Mini? Kuo makes no mention of the iPad Mini, leaving many to speculate that Apple will be dropping the iPad Mini from the lineup. The Mini never seemed to be a wildly popular iPad in the first place but that is probably my own bias talking as I never thought it was a great product.
We expect three new iPads (12.9” iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5” iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7” iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017F shipments to fall 10-20% YoY. If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5” model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5” iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9” iPad Pro 2 and 10.5” iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7” model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.
Beyond the introduction of a new 10.5″ iPad Pro, Kuo offers up some more information on what he calls a “revolutionary” change to the iPad design for 2018.
Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel. We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments.
Android devices have used AMOLED tech for a long time now so revolutionary for Apple perhaps but not for the industry as a whole. It will be interesting to see if they actually do bring AMOLED displays to the iPad lineup, and perhaps we’ll see them in the iPhone lineup as well. What do you think of Kuo’s speculation on the future of iPad? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.Source: MacRumors