Current Apple iPads are available in form factors of 7.9 inches, 9.7 inches and 12.9 inches. However, speculations are rife that Apple may introduce an iPad with a new size in 2017.
The year 2017 is special for Apple as the company will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Apple is expected to launch three models of the iPhone 8, all with an overhauled design. iPhones may not be the only iDevices that are expected to entice Apple fans in 2017, as rumors point that the company is also working to launch a 10.5-inch iPad.
10.5-Inch iPad Rumor
Taiwanese publication DigiTimes cites sources in the supply chain and report that Apple is planning to launch the 10.5-inch iPad to attract enterprise and education sectors.
"Apple is launching the 10.5-inch iPad mainly because 10-inch and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the [United States], the sources said. Its existing 9.7-inch iPad may be too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated," says DigiTimes.
The rumored Apple tablet is expected to come running on the A10X processor, which is used in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPad with the new form factor is rumored to go into production as early as December this year.
This is not the first time that Apple has been rumored to launch a 10.5-inch iPad. A Tech Times report from August this year also reported that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believed that Apple will introduce the 10.5-inch iPad sometime in 2017.
Expected Launch Date Of The 10.5-Inch iPad
Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in September 2015 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in March this year. According to DigiTimes, shipments of the 10.5-inch iPad are estimated to reach 2 million units in the first quarter of 2017 and 5 to 6 million units for the entire year, which hints that Apple may launch the new iPad in the first quarter of 2017.
Other iPad Launch In 2017
Rumors also suggest that Apple may also launch pocket-friendly 9.7-inch iPads in 2017, which will compete with Android tablets available in the market.
Overall Tablet Market
An International Data Corporation report noted that the global tablet market has been declining year-over-year and the trend will follow in 2016 and 2017. However, the launch of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in March this year helped Apple to lessen the company's decline rate.
According to another IDC report, the global tablet market will rebound in 2018.
"Positive growth is set to return in 2018 and continue through 2020 with shipments reaching 194.2 million tablets as detachable tablets continue to steal share from traditional PCs," says IDC.
Apple has not confirmed any details of the 10.5-inch iPad and customers should take all rumors of the tablet with a pinch of salt.