A new report by esteemed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple has plans to release three different iPad models for its 2017 lineup, including a new 10.5-inch size iPad Pro and a “low-cost” 9.7-inch tablet.
Oh, and you can expect new display technology for the iPad later in 2018.
According to Kuo, the newly added 10.5-inch model will accompany the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and its more affordable 9.7-inch alternative:
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.
The analyst makes no mention of the current 7.9-inch iPad mini, but – as MacRumors and others speculate – it won’t be too surprizing if Apple discontinues the series. One possible reason for this is decreased demand for smaller tablets following the introduction of larger iPhone Plus models.
Kuo further predicts that “revolutionary” changes in the design and hardware of the iPad will follow later in 2018, speculating that similarly to the path the iPhone previously took, the iPad will move on to adopt an AMOLED display.
The analyst claims integrating a flexible AMOLED panel makes sense as the technology will give Apple a chance to offer “new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes.”
With this move, Apple is looking to catch a break from its recent struggles to increase sales.