Apple is largely expected to unveil its new 10.5-inch iPad Pro at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to renowned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In fact, there is a “70” percent chance that the new iPad Pro will be announced at WWDC, Kuo said in a new report, basing that conclusion on Apple’s production ramp-up timeline, as well as other evidence. Companies across Apple’s supply chain are currently readying themselves to begin mass production in June, so an early June announcement would make sense according to that timeframe.
That iPad Pro is expected to have a similar 9.7-inch form factor as previous models, but will have a larger display due to much narrower bezels on all sides. Kuo believes that this new chassis, bezel width and display size will improve the overall iPad Pro user experience and help Apple gain traction in the “corporate / commercial sectors.” As previously reported, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is also expected to feature an A10X chipset and other incremental upgrades.
Overall, Kuo expects somewhere between 5 and 6 million units to ship in 2017, making up about 15 percent of total iPad sales during the fiscal year. It’s worth noting that Kuo’s latest report makes no mention of the updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro, so we can’t be sure whether Kuo believes that larger iPad Pro will be released alongside the 10.5-inch model. Similarly, it’s currently unknown whether the larger model will also feature a reduced-bezel design (though we haven’t seen anything to that effect thus far).
But a 10.5-inch iPad Pro isn’t the only device that Apple could announce alongside new operating systems. Kuo also thinks there’s greater than a 50 percent chance that Apple will also unveil its new standalone Siri speaker at WWDC. “Apple’s first home AI product,” as Kuo calls it, is expected to be a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo lineup. Kuo also believes that Apple’s speaker will feature a touchscreen, backing up a previous rumor about the device.