Highly respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has momentarily turned his attentions away from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 launch by publishing a research note on the future of the company’s iPad range.
Kuo issued his latest research note to investors predicting that Apple could have three major iPad models lined up for release in 2017. If accurate, those new iPads would range in size from 9.7-inch all the way to 12.9-inches to further progress and expand the recently created iPad Pro range, but here’s the more interesting bit; the third iPad Pro could pack a 10.5-inch display.
To be exact, Kuo believes that Apple plans on introducing a new 10.5-inch iPad as a new iPad Pro model in addition to the existing 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch offerings. The introduction of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro would more than likely be the talking point of the range, but fans would also be welcoming with it an upgraded 12.9 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2 range. Kuo also adds a further suggestion that the driving force behind introducing an iPad Pro at this new size would be the potential to better penetrate the commercial and education sectors.
If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5″ model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5” iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9″ iPad Pro 2 and 10.5″ iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7″ model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.
A three-device iPad Pro lineup would definitely provide additional choice for the consumer, but with that said, if the driving force is indeed the opportunity to penetrate the aforementioned sectors, it would seem somewhat of an admission by Apple that the 12.9-inch device failed to hit that sweet spot as that device was marketed as the perfect hardware for professionals.
That aside, Ming-Chi Kuo is also predicting that 2018 could be the year that “revolutionary” changes are brought about with the iPad lineup:
Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel. We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments.
We would most definitely welcome a new iPad to the lineup next year, but would not be able to contain our excitement if we were able to interact with an OLED-based iPhone and iPad come 2018.
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