Now that 2016 is behind us the big question that still remains, is what are Apple's plans for its iPad lineup in 2017. It is no secret that overall tablet sales are in a slump, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has said several times in the past, that he is confident customers are still interested in the iPad. However, it is obvious from Apple's new erratic release schedule that the company's priorities do not lie with the once mighty tablet anymore. Apple has not released a new model since March 31, 2016, and the rumor mill has been pretty quiet about the release of any next-generation iPad models.
There have been some early rumblings and rumors claiming Apple will not only release a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro model in 2017, but the iPhone-maker may also release a new 10-inch iPad Pro model to target the commercial and education markets.
The Japanese blog Makotakara wrote in October that Apple will release 3 new iPad models in 2017, but made no mention of a 10-inch model. Instead the blog said Apple will release a new 7.9-inch iPad mini, a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the spring. However, Makotakara then released a report about the 10-inch model in November, claiming it would ship with a "micro-bezel," giving it the same "same footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro." This led some to speculate that Apple may ditch the 9.7-inch model in favor of a new 10-inch model with new digital Home button.
As any dedicated or casual Apple fan knows, it is almost impossible for even the highly secretive Apple to keep new products a secret. Most new devices are spoiled before their official release, and yet we haven't heard much about a new iPad. This could be due to a lack of interest, as tech websites and blogs concentrate on the new iPhone or Apple Watch, but it is hard to believe that if Apple is working on several new tablets that nothing substantial has yet to leak. It is also hard to believe Apple will go another year without releasing an new iPad model.
While it is safe to assume we will see a new iPad model in 2017, what is hard to predict is what type of iPad will Apple release.
Will Apple discontinue the iPad mini and iPad Air and from now on only release iPad Pro models?
Is there really a 10-inch iPad Pro in the works?
What new features will the next-generation iPad include, and will it have a headphone jack?
These are all hard questions to answer with the rumor mill so silent on the iPad front, but I expect we will start hearing more about the iPad the further we move into 2017.