With rumors regarding some new Apple hardware swirling overhead, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo put out a new research note reaffirming his belief that Apple will introduce a new piece of Siri-based hardware next month at WWDC. As for the design, Kuo maintains that the device will offer a premium auditory experience and will include a “touch panel”, a design tidbit that Apple executive Phil Schiller seemingly suggested was in the works during an interview last week. It remains unclear, though, if said “touch panel” will be a full-fledged display a’la the Amazon Echo Show or if it will be more minimalistic. Price wise, Kuo anticipates that Apple’s upcoming Siri speaker will be more expensive than the Amazon Echo Show’s $229 price tag.

Kuo’s note, originally spotted by AppleInsider, adds that a new Siri speaker may not be the only new piece of hardware Apple rolls out at WWDC, which is slated to kick off on June 5 in San Jose. Specifically, Kuo says that there’s an even greater chance that Apple in a few weeks will introduce a newly designed 10.5-inch iPad Pro with extremely thin bezels surrounding the display. Per the rumor mill, Apple’s new iPad Pro will feature a larger display but will have a form factor similar to Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, a design made possible by shrinking the bezels. And while it’s perhaps too soon to say, it’s entirely plausible that the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro will give us a firmer grasp on what the mythical iPhone 8 design is going to look like.

Spec wise, previous rumors regarding Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro have intimated that the device will be powered by a A10x processor. There have also been scattered reports claiming that Apple’s new iPad Pro will sport a stationary home button a’la the iPhone 7.

While we wouldn’t go so far as to say that the rumored iPad Pro referenced above needs to be a mega-hit, there’s no denying that iPad sales have been in a free-fall for years on end. During Apple’s March quarter, for example, iPad sales fell 13% year over year. That aside, Tim Cook remains enthusiastic about the future of the iPad. “We’ve got some exciting things coming on iPad,” Cook said this past February, “and I’m optimistic about where things are headed.”

Perhaps a brand new twist on the iPad design will be just the tweak Apple needs to see growth return to its beleaguered iPad lineup.

View Comments