Apple to Launch 9.7-Inch iPad Pro at March Event: Gurman

Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac has heard more details about what we can expect at Apple’s rumoured March special event, set to take place on March 15.

While we all suspected an iPad Air 3 was set to be announced, Gurman now says it’s going to be marketed as a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, bringing the tablet into the same family as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Sources have also noted “Apple is preparing a smaller version of its Smart Keyboard cover attachment for the new model, and it likely will be ready for March,” plus support Apple Pencil.

Features will include quad stereo speakers, same colours and storage capacities as the existing iPad Pro, but have pricing similar to previous iPad Air models.

Also, as for older iPad Air and iPad mini 2 models, Apple is said to be slowing down production of these aging devices and discontinue them when the 9.7-inch iPad Pro launches. Apple Canada’s refurbished store got a whackload of new iPad stock just yesterday.

The March 15 special event is said to also unveil the 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’ and new Apple Watch bands, with sales expected to ship as soon as March 18.

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  • Bafoon

    so they are rebranding the Air to Pro?

  • Looks like it. Similar to how the 12-inch Retina MacBook doesn’t say ‘Air’, but just MacBook.

  • winnertakesteve

    Apple has certainly done weirder things than this with naming conventions… ie MacBook Air is thicker and heavier than regular MacBook.

    I’m just pleased as a pig in mud that it tips the scales in favour of pencil support!

    Similar air pricing will be fantastic if true. If it’s truly “fully loaded” I could even swallow a small price bump, but I’d really hope it’s no more than $100.

  • Boooo!
    I’m waiting for the Air 3, now I hear it’s probably going to be marked as iPad pro just means price hike +200 from the air line.

  • Wall Man

    I’ve been saying this for a while, there is going to be a price increase for the new Air3 now “Air Pro 9.7”. Can I call dibs on that name? It is all about the exchange. Previously each new iteration was priced the same as the last and the previous one would drop a bit. Currently there is less than a 10% premium between CDN v US prices on all models

    Here is an idea, if all you need is a wifi Air2, why not get one from Costco? Assuming you are a member, order it online, pay by MC or Visa and you will have 90 days to return. Wait for the March 15 announcement and decide if the new features and potential new pricing is acceptable. If not, keep the Air2 or if they drop the price of the Air2, again, return one and repurchase, or since it is Costco you should be able to get the difference refunded/credited.

    You will get more for you money with the latest version, but is it worth the extra cost?

    My wife is happy with her new Air2 and she just received a new Amazon case.

  • winnertakesteve

    I’ll definitely be a little disappointed too if they hike it as much as $200. I’m hoping they realize that making their entire lineup more expensive won’t help sales either.

    I want to have cautious optimism that after 18 months we’re just due for a solid update without a massive price difference.

  • I totally agree. I got cash in hand ready for the next air 3 or whatever they decide to call it. The pro name scares me though after seeing the iPad pro prices when it released was staggering to say the least.

  • jmcd102

    Plus a price hike for the cases compared to the old smart case and if you purchase a pencil. It all adds up to be a “pro”.

  • jmcd102

    I think it has to be more than $100.

  • jmcd102

    And that MacBook isn’t a screamer in the speed department.

  • Shameer Mulji

    That’s the downside of it being a fanless design.

  • bionicmonk

    I’ve been using it for over a month now and its my new favourite MacBook. I charge it from a mobile battery and I don’t notice it in my bag. Its fantastic, but no, you cannot crunch 4k video on it. My 15″ is sitting unused.