There have been a number of reports regarding Apple's iPad line-up next year. The recent one comes from a Taiwan-based supply chain makers. According to these sources, the tech giant will be launching a 10.5-inch iPad in 2017. In fact, the production for this iPad is set to begin next month.
DigiTimes first broke this news on their website. Their sources revealed that choice of the size was the result of the popularity and demand for 10-inch and larger tablets. Apparently, these tablets are a hit among enterprises and the education sector in the US. Such preference might be caused by the fact that some customers find the 9.7-inch iPad too small. Normally, they would want a bigger one like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, that would mean they need to pay more since it's more expensive.
The sources also disclosed that the 10.5-inch iPad will be powered by A10X, the same one as in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It is expected that the sales for new iPad will "reach two million units" in the first quarter of 2017 and "5 to 6 million units" for the whole year. The other news is Apple's plan of releasing a lower priced 9.7-inch iPad. This is the company's strategy in competing against Android-based tablets. It will be powered by the A9X chipset like with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, according to GSM Arena.
Rumors about a 10-inch iPad have been going around for some time already. The release date of 2017 was mentioned back in August. According to Mac Rumors, Japanese website Mac Otakara said in October that it will be a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro. The site added that it will be unveiled in early 2017. The last report about it prior to this one was earlier this month. Mac Rumors reported that Barclays analysts have claimed that Apple will release a "10.9-inch" iPad that is bezel-free. Furthermore, there might also be a refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads.
Now, it seemed that this recent report is more plausible. Mac Rumors mentioned that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo already suggested back in August about a 10.5-inch tablet that is powered by A10X. In addition, Kuo added that Apple will launch lower-price versions of the 9.7-inch iPad to compete with Android models. All of these corroborate with what have been said by DigiTimes' Taiwan-based supply chain maker sources.
The only detail missing in the latest news is what Kuo mentioned with regards to a more "revolutionary" change to iPads or Apple devices that include iPhones. It's the decision to finally use OLED displays instead of the usual LCD. This new display technology integrated into iPads may be expected in 2018, according to Kuo.