The next installments for the iPad Air and iPad Pro lines are not arriving within the first half of this year. Though previous rumors claimed that Apple was prepping for the launch event of three new iPads this March, there hasn’t been a credible source to back this claim up. Now, an intel from supply chain sources is shedding light on when can consumers really expect the new tablets from the Cupertino giant.
DigiTimes reported Thursday that it has learned from upstream supply chain sources about Apple’s plan to release new tablets for this year. The three tablets comprise a 9.7-inch model, a 10.5-inch model and a 12.9-inch model. The one with the smallest screen estate is expected to launch with a wallet-friendly price tag, while the iPad with the largest screen is going to be the most expensive installment of the three.
The same sources have indicated that while the 9.7-inch iPad is entering mass production in the first quarter, the other two models are kicking off production sometime in the second quarter. All three are not expected to launch in the market until the second half, so consumers should wait a bit longer before they can purchase any of the upgraded tablets.
Another interesting bit about the new iPads has to do with their component suppliers. As per the DigiTimes sources, Apple is getting parts supplies for the entry-level 9.7-inch tablet from secondary suppliers and South Korea’s Seoul Semiconductor. The new 9.7-inch model is also expected to be Apple’s weapon in penetrating the education sector.
As for the other two models, Apple is likely to obtain components from its primary sources because they will be sporting the A10X processor. Both the 10.5-inch model and the 12.9-inch installment are designed to be tablets for the high-end sector. Thus, obtaining parts from primary suppliers is not at all that surprising. This will also contribute to the reasons why these two models are going to be pricier than the 9.7-inch model.
Basing on the new information from the sources and the lack of supply chain reports about Apple’s iPad mini series, it will not be shocking to know that Samsung’s biggest rival is abandoning the line. The last refresh of the mini series was launched in 2015, according to AppleInsider. Should this really be the case, it’s clear that Apple wants consumers to embrace the 9.7-inch entry-level model when it launches alongside the two premium tablets in the second half of 2017.
While the 9.7-inch model will serve the role of the entry-level tablet, the 10.5-inch model is being positioned to be Apple’s flagship device of its iPad line. MacRumors believes the device is going to launch with an edge-to-edge display sans a home button. However, Apple reportedly plans to keep a small part of the top bezel to give just the right space for the front-facing FaceTime camera.