Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch three new iPads in 2017. Normally, this would suggest that it would refresh the iPad mini, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Instead, it sounds like Apple is going to bail on the iPad mini in an effort to launch a brand new iPad size.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working to launch a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a brand new model that measures somewhere around 10-inches to 10.5-inches in size. “The 10-10.5″ model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7-inch model will be the low-priced option,” Kuo said in a note obtained by 9to5Mac. That suggests that, perhaps, the 9.7-inch model won’t be a “pro” device at all, especially if you consider that Kuo believes it will pack an A9 processor instead of the A10X chip found in the larger devices.
Is the iPad mini dead?
I don’t know how this will ultimately shake out. I love the 9.7-inch size and appreciate that Apple introduced it as a pro model this year. I guess Apple may return to launching a 9.7-inch iPad as a more standard device, kill off the smallest form factor, and use the two largest models as Pro devices. We’ll see what happens later this year, Apple typically starts to unveil its new iPads in the spring.