Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple could use the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 event next month to unveil the much-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro, as well as a touchscreen-equipped Siri speaker.
Apple will be holding its annual WWDC event on June 5 and, for the first time in 13 years, it's returning to San Jose, California, rather than San Francisco.
Rumors of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro have been making rounds for quite some time now and although nothing materialized so far, Apple is widely expected to take the wraps off the new tablet at the upcoming WWDC.
As the event is edging closer, Kuo released a new report bolstering expectations that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will make its debut at WWDC next month. Moreover, the analyst also says that Apple will likely introduce a touchscreen Siri speaker at the event as well.
WWDC 2017: 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Expected
Kuo has been saying for a good while that Apple will release three new tablets this year: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad model. The low-cost 9.7-inch iPad made its debut in March replacing the iPad Air 2, so we're now waiting for the new iPad Pro models.
As Apple-centric publication MacRumors reports, Kuo thinks that WWDC will serve as the launch event for the new iPads Pro because there's a ramp up in production set for the end of this quarter.
The tablet market has not been doing that great recently and Apple's iPad sales have consistently dropped each quarter, but the company still wants to rekindle its tablet business and spice things up with a new model in an unprecedented size and with a notable redesign.
While the upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to be similar in some respects to the 9.7-inch iPad, it's also rumored to have a larger display and slimmer bezels. Some rumors also indicated that Apple could ditch the physical home button and go for in-display fingerprint authentication, embedding the Touch ID scanner under the screen. Such rumors seem a bit unlikely, however, since it would make more sense for Apple to introduce such advanced technology with its iPhone 8 rather than an iPad, especially since this year it will celebrate the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
Touchscreen Siri Speaker At WWDC 2017?
Kuo also notes that there's a 50 percent chance that Apple will announce its rumored touchscreen Siri speaker at the upcoming WWDC. The gadget would likely go head to head with Amazon's newly unveiled Echo Show speaker, which sports a 7-inch screen.
Apple exec Phil Schiller recently mocked existing smart speakers such as Amazon Echo devices and Google Home and indicated that Apple's upcoming Siri speaker will have a display, further fueling expectations of an imminent debut.
The purported touchscreen Siri speaker has reportedly been in testing internally for several months now, but it remains unclear at this point just what specs and features it will bring to the table, or how it plans on challenging Amazon's Echo speakers and Google Home.
Nevertheless, if Kuo's predictions turn out to be accurate, we could see the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the touchscreen Siri speaker in just a few short weeks.