Apple’s iPad might not generate the same interest as it did in previous years, but the product is still making billions in sales for the company, and Apple is not done improving it. A new report indicates that Apple will release new iPad Pro models next year, including a brand new size, and that a “revolutionary” iPad will follow in 2018, likely after Apple introduces that radically redesigned iPhone we keep hearing about.
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In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo revealed details about Apple’s expected iPad roadmap.
Apple is seen launching a 10.5-inch iPad Pro next year, to fill in the gap between the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. The 9.7-inch device is going to be a cheaper model.
“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,” Kuo said. “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. In addition, we estimate the 12.9” iPad Pro 2 and 10.5” iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7” model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.”
What’s interesting is that Kuo believes the A10X chip that will go into new iPads will be built on 10nm process technology. The 2016 iPhone models will pack A10 chips, which are supposed to be based on 16nm technology, according to the most recent rumors.
“Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel,” Kuo continued. “We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments.”
Apple is rumored to introduce its first OLED iPhone next year, a device that might have curved edges. Kuo did not explain what a “radical form factor design” would be.