Just one of Apple’s 2017 iPad models went up for sale last Friday and ever since, those in the know have been wildly speculating about the fate of Apple’s other iPads that are rumored to touch down this year. According to one notable analyst, however, while the company’s highly-anticipated 10.5-inch iPad Pro will allegedly enter “limited production” at the end of this month, she and her constituents appear to conflict in regards to when users can expect to scoop up their very own.
That’s according to IHS Markit analyst, Rhoda Alexander, who in an exclusive interview over the weekend with Forbes expressed those very sentiments — while cautioning that she’s unsure about Apple’s plans to launch the device. Alexander has conceded that she’s unsure of whether Apple will launch its new 10.5-incher at a special media event this April, at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this June, or if the Apple may even hold off until a more substantial inventory is on hand later on this fall. And so far, unfortunately, the consensus among rumor mill heavyweights like her has been just as indecisive.
While Alexander believes that an early-April unveiling, as rumored by Japanese Blog Macotokara a few weeks ago, is a big possibility, she conceded that the likelihood “still looks somewhat tentative” even though “the necessary elements are starting to come together.” This could imply, as one anonymous supply chain source indicated to MacRumors, that Apple will be launching the device this spring although said launch will be more of an incremental event, with the tablet possibly launching in the U.S. market next month, and in select other markets around the world later this year once production ramps up to its full capacity.
“It looks like Apple is doing the releases in a staggered fashion,” the source indicated, requesting confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of their position. “I still expect a 10-inch-range iPad sometime in the spring. The supply chain is pretty clear that it is coming, maybe as soon as April.”
An equally likely reality, however, as reported by DigiTimes, is that while the new 10.5-inch model might launch within the early-April timeframe, it — along with the larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro refresh — may not actually begin shipping to customers until the end of May or June, at the earliest.
Still, some analysts remain steadfast in their sentiments that the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro — which will supposedly retain the dimensions of Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, while boasting minimal bezels — might not launch until later on this fall. Apple authority John Gruber recently made a noteworthy analysis about why it would actually make sense for Apple to wait until its usual September/October timeframe to launch its bezel-free iPad Pro and that would be to avoid spoiling the similar, minimal bezel design theme that’s expected of the upcoming, OLED-equipped iPhone 8.
“I think the most likely explanation is that Apple is working on a new edge-to-edge design iPad with a 10.5-inch display, but, at the very earliest, it’s a late 2017 thing — something they could unveil in October” Gruber noted, while adding that the device could even be “a 2018 thing, not a 2017 thing” at all.
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