Hit-and-miss Japanese online publication Mac Otakara is back once again with some timely Apple predictions, this time pertaining to the future of the company’s iPad range.

Specifically, the Japanese source is predicting that next year’s rumored 10.9-inch iPad will ship with a footprint that’s virtually identical to that of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, despite the fact that it comes with larger screen real estate for content to be viewed and interacted with.

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As you might expect, this information isn’t coming directly from Apple, nor is it from anyone claiming to be directly connected to Apple. Instead, the publication is professing to be well-informed via a well-placed supply-chain source in Taiwan who is aware of Apple’s plans. It’s being said that although the 10.9-inch iPad will ship with a noticeably larger display, the company will managed to keep the overall size of the device down by significantly reducing the size of the bezels around the embedded display.

Providing more in-depth clarity on the design decisions, the “well-informed” source out of Taiwan has also suggested that the top bezel of the new iPad will remain consistent with previous models in the fact the size will remain the same and will still include the FaceTime camera that iPad owners have come to expect.

The real changes will come with the side bezels on the device being significantly reduced, and the Home / Touch ID button being removed entirely in order to make significant space savings on the bottom of the device. There’s been plenty of speculation over the last few months about Apple taking the initiative to entirely remove the Home button from future iPhone models. Next year’s 10.9-inch iPad model could be the first iPad (and Apple device) to adopt that approach.

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The idea of an iPad with a larger screen, but similar size footprint, is extremely appealing, but there may be tradeoffs for a consumer to come to terms with. The same publication is also suggesting that Apple will take the unheard of approach of actually making the new iPad slightly thicker than the current models by increasing the thickness of the device to 7.5mm. Similarly the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will also see an increase in thickness by 3mm, which again could be the result of bezel reduction.

All those changes and improvements in design and specs, but we’re still not expecting to see OLED technology integrated into the iPad range until 2018. More so, with regards to the 10.9-inch display being discussed, a more reliable source, KGI Securities, followed by DigiTimes, has pegged the screen size of this new iPad to be around the 10.5-inch mark.

(Source: Mac Otakara [Google Translate])

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