Apple Increases Production of New 10.5-inch iPad Pro Ahead of WWDC

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Apple is reportedly increasing production of its upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro form factor ahead of the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 in June, according to a new report out of the supply chain.

Shipments of the new iPad Pro form factor are said to be up to around 500,000 units this month, with that number expected to increase to 600,000 by July, according to upstream supply chain sources cited by DigiTimes. This production ramp-up seems to imply that the device will soon be announced, and it lines up nicely with a previous report from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo that stated there was a “70 percent chance” that the new iPad Pro would be unveiled at WWDC this year.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is said to share a similar form factor with the current-generation 9.7-inch iPad, but will have a larger display by way of significantly reduced bezels. It’ll also reportedly pack a powerful A10X chipset, rather than the A9X processor in the current lower-cost iPad. According to DigiTimes, mass production of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro began in March and April. Apple is also expected to refresh its 12.9-inch iPad Pro this year, but the mass production timeline for that upgrade is less clear.

Apple’s WWDC is usually a showcase of new software, but it’s definitely not unheard of for the tech giant to announce hardware at the event. Indeed, the evidence is stacking up that new iPad Pro devices will be unveiled at the developer’s conference alongside iOS 11. Earlier this week, a beta version of iOS 10.3.3 was unveiled with new wallpapers seemingly optimized for an iPad Pro refresh. Apple doesn’t usually release wallpapers in incremental iOS updates, and many took that as a sign that an announcement of new iPad hardware is imminent.

In addition to new iPads, it’s been rumored that Apple could unveil three new MacBook devices at WWDC ‘17— as well as a premium standalone Siri speaker. WWDC will take place in San Jose, California, and is slated to kick off on June 5.

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