Apple’s expanding line of iPad tablets is widely accepted as the gold standard in the tablet market. While tablets as a whole have been largely disappointing considering the explosive growth that leading market research firms predicted following the original iPad’s debut, tens of millions of tablets are still sold around the world each quarter. Truth be told, tablets are still a big business for plenty of hardware vendors, despite the fact that sales are declining due in part to a much slower upgrade cycle than most firms were expecting. Oh, how market researchers love to draw straight growth lines that soar endlessly into the sky.
While Apple’s iPads have continued to get better and better as time has progressed, most updates in recent years have been somewhat incremental as far as user-facing features are concerned. That’s why it was so exciting when reports began to emerge suggesting that Apple actually has a bold new redesign coming to one of its new iPads in 2017. Unfortunately, a new report now suggests that Apple’s nifty next-generation iPad may have been delayed.
According to a handful of independent reports headlined by ever-accurate insider Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has a brand new addition to its iPad lineup in 2017. Slotted in between the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will reportedly be a new model with a 10.5-inch display. This new iPad will apparently be roughly the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad model, however, because it will feature much narrower bezels than other tablets in Apple’s iPad lineup. Bezel-narrowing is an ongoing trend in 2017, and it will continue right up until September when the “all-screen” iPhone 8 is unveiled.
This sleek new iPad model will reportedly be unveiled next month alongside new 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad models that feature incremental updates. That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is yet another report emerged on Friday suggesting that the launch of Apple’s hot new iPad model has been delayed.
“Vendors have hoped that at least one of the two large-size tablets, 10.5-inch iPad or the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, will be released in the first quarter of 2017 along with the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad,” Digitimes’ Siu Han and Steve Shen reported on Friday. “However, the sources said that they are now more certain that both of the planned two large-size models will not come until May-June, thereby affecting first-quarter sales of supply chain makers.”
Delayed launches obviously won’t put a huge dent in Apple’s earnings since iPad models make up such a minuscule percentage of the company’s sales and profits. Apple fans are growing increasingly anxious for something new and exciting to sink their teeth into though, and it looks like the wait may have just gotten a few months longer.