There have been a number of reports regarding Apple’s iPad line-up next year. The most recent report comes from a Taiwan-based supply chain maker who predicts that the tech giant will be launching a 10.9-inch iPad in 2017. In fact, the production for the iPad is set to begin next month.
According to DigiTimes, sources revealed that choice of the size was the result of the popularity and demand for 10-inch and larger tablets. These tablets are very popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, and such preference might be caused by the fact that some customers find the 9.7-inch iPad too small. Customers normally might prefer a bigger tablet like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, although it’s quite a bit more expensive.
“According to the informed source in Taiwan, The bezel-less 10.9-inch iPad model of Apple has the same size as iPad Pro (9.7-inch), and the thickness is expanded to 7.5mm, which is the same as iPad Air,” reads the report. Additionally, the iPad will have a much smaller bezel, and analyst predict that it will not have a home button.
Now, Japanese site Mac Otakara claims its sources have corroborated the report, noting the 10.9-inch iPad will have the same footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad, but have a thickness of 7.5mm. The bezel-less design would still have room at the top for the FaceTime camera, while the Home button is rumoured to disappear, possibly get integrated into the display.
As for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it will get 3mm thicker to 7.2mm, while a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro (an iPad mini 4 successor) will have the same dimensions.
Digitimes says the 10.9-inch iPad will be powered by A10X, the same one as in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It is expected that the sales for new iPad will “reach two million units” in the first quarter of 2017 and “5 to 6 million units” for the whole year.
Earlier this month, Barclay’s analysts claimed Apple is set to release a trio of iPads in 2017, with bezel-less designs.