The rumored 10-inch iPad that Apple allegedly plans to release in early 2017 will feature a "micro-bezel," according to the Japanese site Makotakara. Citing an "informed" supply-chain source in Taiwan, Makotakara ((via 9to5Mac) claims that the larger screen size of Apple's 10-inch tablet will be "offset by smaller bezels. " This will give the 10-inch model the "same footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro," according to 9to5Mac.
The top bezel with front-facing FaceTime camera will remain, but the Home button will be removed to reduce the size of the lower bezel. If true, this means we could see Apple's rumored digital Home button sooner than we thought. The new display embedded Home button was expected to make its debut on the next-generation iPhone before coming to the iPad.
The 10-inch iPad will also be slightly thicker than the current iPad Pro models at 7.5mm. This would make it the same thickness as the iPad Air 2.
This is not the first time we have heard that Apple is planning to launch a 10-inch tablet next year. Back in August, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a research report that he believes Apple will release three new iPads in 2017. The three new iPad models will include a second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a new 10.5-inch model and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad.
Makotakara also noted in October that Apple plans to continue its 7.9-inch lineup by releasing a fifth-generation iPad mini sometime in 2017.
Apple has not released a new iPad model since March 2016, and it has not refreshed its iPad Air lineup since October 2014. It is unknown if Apple is discontinuing the iPad Air lineup if favor of its iPad Pro models.