KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is starting 2017 off with a bang by making some predictions pertaining to Apple’s 2017 plans for its iPad range.
A new research note offered to investors has suggested that Apple is in line to offer three new iPads this year, with the Cupertino-based company expected to announce a revamped iPad Pro as well as two other additions that will hopefully reignite sales of the stuttering product line.
One of the first aspects of the research note focuses on KGI’s belief that Apple will head into 2017 and beyond with a revamped 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The extremely reliable analyst also expects Apple to introduce an affordable 9.7-inch model iPad, as well as introduce an entirely new line in the form of 10-10.5-inch model that will look to appeal to those in the mid-range market who are focused on having an efficient slate intended for professional design use.
All of these models are expected to debut in the second quarter of the year, which should hopefully allow consumers to own them between April and June.
The interesting thing about this prediction is that there’s no mention whatsoever of a new or updated iPad mini, which would presumably make the revamped 9.7-inch model the new entry-level slate. This could also play nicely with the company’s recent focus on introducing more “Pro” level iPad hardware which not only look to appeal more to professionals, but also come with additional support and integrations like compatibility with Apple Pencil and Smart Connector to connect a new range of intelligent accessories.
Kuo also expects Apple to power the new 12.9-inch and 10-inch models with a new ‘A10X’ processor, which is essentially a more powerful version of the silicon found in Apple’s current flagship smartphone, the iPhone 7. Apple will also use the very capable A9 chipset from the iPhone 6s to keep costs at a minimum for the entry-level 9.7-inch version, and will be manufactured by Samsung, if the research note is to be believed.
In regards to the iPad mini, it actually leaves the product in a very interesting place, and raises serious questions about whether or not the device actually has a future. Previous rumors have suggested that Apple was positioning itself to kill the iPad mini range altogether, so this could be the end.
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