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Get ready for a new iPad size, cheaper models, rumor says

by Todd Haselton | November 28, 2016November 28, 2016 8:30 am PDT

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.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...