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.
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.
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.
Yesterday inside sources told the Japanese blog Mac Otakara that Apple plans to release 3 iPad models in 2017, and today the Chinese social network Weibo posted alleged benchmark scores for the rumored A10X chips that will power all 3 tablets. All iPad models ship with a more powerful version of Apple's latest processor. For example, the iPhone 6s is equipped with an A9 chip, and the current iPad Pro model is powered buy the faster A9X.
Now that the iPhone 7 has been available for a couple of weeks focus has switched to Apple's next-generation tablets, and today the first major iPad rumor was published by Japanese blog Mac Otakara (via Mac Rumors). Citing "reliable sources," Mac Otakara claims Apple will release three new iPad Pro models in Spring 2017. These will include a new 7.9-inch iPad mini model, a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro model and a new 12.9-inch model.
As we've noted before, there hasn't been much talk about the next-generation iPad Pro 2. It is possible that Apple doesn't plan to release a new 12.9-inch tablet in 2016, or any more iPad models this year, and noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo agrees with us. MacRumors posted a new research report by Kuo, who believes Apple is planning to release three new iPad models in 2017.
"Upstream component makers have seen weaker-than-expected orders for tablet and wearable products" even though the second-generation Apple Watch is expected to be unveiled in September or October, according to DigiTimes. Component suppliers are struggling to gain sufficient profits from the smartwatch market, even with the Apple Watch, which dominates the wearables market by nearly 50 percent.
"A lack of applications and short battery life have prevented smartwatches from becoming a mainstream product. The smartwatch market, expected to stay small, is unlikely to become a growth driver for component makers as originally expected."