APPLE REPORTEDLY plans to launch a trio of iPads in 2017, with an unveiling expected in the second quarter.
So says reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that Apple is working on 12.9in, 10-10.5in and 9.7in models for release this year.
This follows a report from October that pointed to Apple dumping its standard 9.7in tablet in favour of a smaller 7.9in model. Maybe they read it backwards.
According to Kuo, the 12.9in model will arrive as an upgrade to Apple's existing iPad Pro line-up, while the new 10in-something version will launch as a "high-end" tablet with a narrow bezel design. The mooted 9.7in model will be Apple's "low-priced" option and will reportedly feature a Samsung-made A9 processor.
There's no mention of a successor to the iPad Mini 4 which was released back in September 2014, suggesting that Apple has decided to bin its smaller tablet line-up.
With new iPads on the horizon, Kuo expects Apple's tumbling tablet sales to ease. Back in October, IDC reports that global tablet sales had fallen 15 per cent in the third quarter, which was heavily to blame on falling sales of Apple's iPad line-up.
Kuo said, according to 9to5Mac: "Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37 million unexpecte except the decline to narrow to 10 per cent from 2016's roughly 20 per cent given that the 10-10.5in. model may see more demand from commercial/ enterprises and tender markets."
While the 10.5in model is tipped to be popular in the enterprise, Kuo says the 9.7in version likely will be the most popular of the three rumoured models, predicting that it will make up between 50 and 60 per cent of all shipments. µ
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