In a new note, KGI Securities analyst Kuo has detailed his expectations from Apple’s upcoming refresh of its iPad Pro line-up. The analyst predicts that Apple will launch three new iPad models in 2017 in three different screen sizes.
The first one will be a refresh of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the second one being a relatively inexpensive 9.7-inch model that will likely replace the iPad Air 2. The existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be replaced by a new bezel-free model that will feature a screen size of anywhere between 10 to 10.5-inches. While the 12.9-inch and the new bezel-free iPad Pro will feature an A10X chip, the cheaper 9.7-inch model will be powered by an A9 chip.
Kuo also states in his note that while iPad shipments will continue to decline in 2017, the pace will slow down due to the introduction of the new 10.1-10.5-inch model that will lead to an uptick in demand from enterprises. He predicts that iPad shipments will decline by 10% in 2017 to 35-37 million units compared to the 20% decline that Apple reported in 2016.
Apple is reportedly planning on launching new iPads at an event in March, though the launch can be delayed due to TSMC struggling with fabricating the chip used inside them. It will be interesting to see if the new 10.x-inch iPad offers any other new features except for coming with a bigger screen and faster internals. Apple is also reportedly planning a bigger upgrade to its iPad line-up for 2018 that will see the company switch to OLED display panel.