Rumors are once again pointing to the possibility of a new, 10.5-inch iPad being sold early next year, with Apple apparently keen to take advantage of education and enterprise markets, which prefer the larger screen of the iPad Pro but simply cannot justify its increased price when buying in bulk.
The new iPad would be less powerful than iPad Pro models, perhaps without Apple Pencil support, whilst taking advantage of a new A10X CPU, which is already rumored to be at the heart of next year’s tablets.
The latest claims of a 10.5-inch iPad come from the notoriously unreliable DigiTimes, but they do potentially corroborate something that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a few months ago – and Kuo has a very good track record with these kinds of things, so DigiTimes may actually be about to get one right for a change!
The launch of a mid-range 10.5-inch iPad may also tie into a report from Kuo that has Apple ready to produce a lower-end iPad in the 9.7-inch size, which would potentially help the company compete with less costly tablets running Android.
Apple is launching the 10.5-inch iPad mainly because 10-inch and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, the sources said. Its existing 9.7-inch iPad may be too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated.
Until now the iPad mini has been the entry level iPad for those on a budget, but a larger offering at the same price point, or at least cheaper than current 9.7-inch iPads would potentially help Apple stave off competition from Android-toting commodity hardware.
With production of a 10.5-inch iPad slated to begin next month, we expect to start seeing leaked photos of parts and such around that time given the way things have gone of late. Apple used to run a tight ship, preventing leaks and such, but that is far from the case these days. When was the last time an iOS device was announced and we didn’t already know everything about it, for example?