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Apple is currently developing a 10.9-inch iPad Pro that lacks a home button and is nearly bezel-less, according to a new report.
The new iPad Pro won’t be entirely bezel-free — there will still be a bezel near the top, which will house the front-facing FaceTime camera. But the bottom bezel will be reduced significantly, according to the Japanese news site Mac Otakara. The nearly bezel-less design will allow for the rumored 10.9-inch iPad Pro to have essentially the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch model. Additionally, the new iPad Pro will also be slightly thicker, at 7.5mm versus the 6.1mm of the current 9.7-inch tablet.
The Mac Otakara report lines up almost exactly with an analyst note resealed by Barclays earlier in November. According to them, Apple will release three new iPad Pro models come March 2017 — including the 10.9-inch bezel-free model, as well as refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. The Barclays analysts also mentioned that the fact that the 10.9-inch model will have a 9.7-inch footprint, and no home button, according to MacRumors.
A series of recent rumors have suggested that Apple will release a 10-inch iPad in the near future — although the rumors seem to disagree about the exact specifications. Ming-Chi Kuo, a renowned KGI Securities analyst, as well as DigiTimes, both stated that the new model will be 10.5-inches. Previously, Mac Otakara reported that Apple will release a 10.1-inch model — but they seemed to have shifted their opinion to match the Barclays analysts.
Along with the design refresh, the 10.9-inch iPad Pro is rumored to feature quad microphones instead of two, and will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack that was recently axed from Apple’s flagship iPhone 7. Additionally, KGI Securities’ Kuo stated that Apple will introduce other “revolutionary” changes with its 2018 iPad Pro release — including a switch to OLED displays.