Apple is reportedly gearing up to introduce yet another screen size option to its family of iPads. According to DigiTimes, Apple plans to launch a 10.5-inch iPad sometime during the first quarter of next year (before the end of March.) This is similar to a rumor that cropped up in October, though the screen size differs.
In October, Mac Otakara said Apple was building three new iPad Pro models, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch and 10.1-inch options. We doubt that Apple has any intention of launching a 10.5-inch iPad and a 10.1-inch model since a screen size difference of 0.4-inches between models wouldn’t really make sense. However, it does seem a bit more likely that Apple will launch a new screen size, at least now that two separate reports citing the company’s supply chain have brought it to the presses.
DigiTimes said Apple wants to launch a new screen size, one between 9.7-inches and the larger 12.9-inches, in order to cater to education and enterprise customers, who reportedly find that the 9.7-inch iPad is “too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement.” It seems the hope is that a version with a screen size right in the middle of those is the sweet spot, and I can see why.
Apple has billed the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, but the 12.9-inch display does indeed feel too cumbersome at times, while the 9.7-inch iPad, when equipped with a keyboard, can feel a bit too cramped for typing. The larger 10.5-inch model is expected to offer the same A10X chip found in Apple’s largest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which makes sense.
A larger 10.5-inch iPad and a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad rumored
The news outlet suggests that Apple is also planning to release a new version of the 9.7-inch iPad that’s cheaper. This isn’t typically Apple’s business strategy. It usually just discounts an older model, a move I think is more likely to happen that a brand new, more affordable, 9.7-inch iPad. We’ll know closer to the end of the first quarter of next year. Apple has historically used the February-March time frame to introduce new iPads, so at least the timing makes sense.