There’s no question that Apple’s iPad remains a product in flux. During the company’s recent earnings report, year over year sales plummeted by 19% while revenue fell by 22%. Nonetheless, Tim Cook has said that Apple remains committed to the iPad and that there’s plenty of room for innovation in the tablet space.
“We’ve got some exciting things coming on iPad,” Cook said last week, “and I’m optimistic about where things are headed.”
Amid a flurry of rumors and speculation regarding Apple’s iPad roadmap, we now have a better idea of how Apple plans to shake up its tablet lineup this year.
According to reports, Apple in 2017 plans to release three new iPad models: an affordable 9.7-inch model, a revamped 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and saving the best for last, a brand new 10.5-inch device. Both the 12.9-inch and 10.5 inch iPad models are said to feature a new A10X processor. More intriguing, though, are rumblings that the 10.5-inch model will feature an edgeless display with minimal bezels, perhaps giving us a taste of what Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 will look like.
As for when Apple’s 2017 iPad lineup might hit store shelves, reports point to a release sometime next month. Lending even more credence to this launch timeframe, MacRumors notes that the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro is already in short supply at retail stores like Best Buy and Apple stores across the globe, a telltale sign that a drastic refresh is not too far off.
“A spot check of Apple’s online store,” the report notes, “reveals that most if not all 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are now estimated to ship in 2-3 weeks in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and elsewhere—that’s up from a shipping estimate of 1-2 weeks as recently as last weekend.”
As a final point, there have also been reports that Apple’s 2017 iPads will feature a stationary home button similar to what Apple implemented on the iPhone 7.