KGI securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo issued a note to investors on Sunday, in which he indicated that Apple is expecting to update the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, to introduce a new designed sized 10 to 10.5 inches with a narrow bezel and to offer a low priced 9.7 inch model. They are expected to debut in the second quarter of 2017. The diminutive tablet was last refreshed in September of 2015. Since then, apple has focused on introducing “Pro” model with Apple Pencil support and magnetic Smart Connector, commanding a more Premium price.
The 12.9 inch and 10-plus inches model will be the second-generation iPad Pro with an A10X chip found in the iPhone 7. “According to Kuo, the so called “A10X” will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. These will be “High End Model” equipped iPad this time.
Meanwhile, the 9.7 inches iPad will be cheaper option featuring a version of the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s. This chip will be manufactured by Samsung, he said.
Kuo also predicted that iPad shipment will drop again, though less than last year, off 10% year over year. In his view, “the worst has passed” for the iPad, and better average selling prices with professional-grade models will boost revenue.
Apple still sells the iPad mini 4 for $399, but its A8 processor that the company no longer uses in its iPhone lineup. If the company does plan to keep the iPad mini in its lineup, it is possible that an update in the device could wait until later in the year.