Next-generation iPad reports have been all over the map when it comes to an actual release date. One day after MacRumors reported that Apple is planning a late-March event for its iPad refresh, the DigiTimes claims the event has been moved to April. Citing supply chain sources, the Taiwanese site reported today that Apple will unveil its new iPad lineup in early April to "mark the inauguration" of its new headquarters in California.
Apple is planning to launch its next line of iPad models "later this month, most likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24," according to MacRumors. Citing a "reputable supply chain analyst," the Apple blog reports that the Cupertino company is also gearing up to announce a few other new products besides its new iPad models at the March event.
If you believe all the latest leaks and analyst predictions then Apple is gearing up to release at least 3 new iPad models sometime in the next few weeks. While most reports have indicated a March announcement, Steven Sande of Apple World Today believes Tim Cook and team are waiting until April 4th to launch their new iPad lineup.
Sande points to the current iPad Pro shipping times on apple.com as a sign that the iPad Pro 2 will be available on April 4th. Sande also notes that Apple may be waiting until their new spaceship headquarters in complete to hold their first major keynote of 2017. The new 175-acre campus called Apple Park is slated to open in early April.
The 10.5-inch iPad Apple is allegedly planning to release in May will ship with a higher resolution than the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro model, according to Rhoda Alexander, Director Tablets and PCs, at IHS Markit (via Forbes). The rumored tablet will sport a 2,224×1,668 display with 264 ppi. This gives it a higher resolution than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro but same pixel density.
Up until this week there hasn't been much talk about the iPad mini leading many to believe that Apple is planning to discontinue the 7.9-inch tablet, but a iPad Pro version is in the works, according to a Barclays' analyst (via Macotakara). The iPad mini 4 will allegedly be replaced by a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro model in March. The rumored tablet will come equipped with a Smart Connector, a 12-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and it will be powered by Apple's A9X processor.
Apple plans to release a red iPhone 7 and add a new storage tier to its iPhone SE lineup, according to
Macotakara. The Japanese blog cites a Barclays analyst, who may have received their tip from the same supply-chain source who previously (via 9to5Mac) leaked information about a possible red iPhone being released in 2017.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is in short supply ahead of the rumored next-generation iPad refresh in March, according to MacRumors. The Apple blog did a spot check of Apple's online store and third-party retailers, such as Best Buy, AT&T, and Verizon. MacRumors discovered that Apple store shipping times in the US have slipped from 1-2 weeks to 2-3 weeks, and in-store pick ups are currently listed as arriving around March 3rd. While this isn't proof that a new iPad model is right around the corner, the largely backordered status of the 12.9-inch model at third-party retailers does make one wonder.
Another supply chain sources has backed multiple reports that Apple plans to launch 3 iPad models in 2017. This time the report comes from the Digitimes, who cited sources from a "related upstream supply chain." According to the Taiwanese site, Apple will release "a 9.7-inch iPad with a friendly price range, a 10.5-inch iPad, and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro" in the second half of 2017. Both KGI Securities and the Japanese website Makotakara have also claimed Apple is working on 3 new iPad models that will be released in Q2 of this year.
A new report from an unknown Dutch blog about the second-generation Apple Pencil has done little to help the lackluster news coming out of the Apple rumor mill. According to Roman Zavřel, the next-generation Apple Pencil will come equipped with a new magnetic system and pen-like clip for attaching the stylus to your iPad bezel or pocket. The report gives no mention of any other features, making it the most underwhelming rumor of the year.
As we previously discussed, the normally chatty Apple rumor mill has been eerily quiet when it comes to the next-generation iPad. So far noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities and the Japanese website Makotakara are the only credible sources who have offered 2017 iPad predictions.
Noted KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has delivered the first iPad rumor of 2017. As we previously discussed, the Apple rumor mill has gone silent about the future of the iPad, but on Sunday Kuo got the ball rolling by dusting off an old prediction. In an investor's note (via 9to5Mac) Kuo said he expects Apple to release three iPad models in Q2 of 2017.