If the plethora of rumors are to be believed, we will see three, or perhaps even four, new iPad models, including a new 10.5-inch iPad, sometime in the very near future.
However, it seems as if no one agrees on when the new iPads will be revealed.
Reports that surfaced earlier this month suggested that the new iPad models would likely be revealed during Apple’s annual spring event, possibly taking place on April 4th. However, just yesterday MacRumors cited “reputable supply chain analysts” in reporting that Apple would announce several new products between March 20th and March 24th – likely the new iPad models. And now, a new report published this morning by DigiTimes contradicts their previous statement, claiming that, according to Taiwan-based supply chain markers, Apple has moved up their production plans of the new 10.5-inch iPad model to this month. The report also states that the company will unveil the new model at a product event in early April, timed to “mark the inauguration of Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino.”
Rumor has it that the 10.5-inch iPad will see some significant changes from previous form factors. Notoriously accurate KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last August that Apple would introduce several “revolutionary” new changes to the iPad, including flexible AMOLED displays and a redesigned chassis. Rumors that surfaced late last month also claim that the 10.5-inch model will feature an improved screen resolution and a near bezel-free design that will fit into a chassis that is exactly the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Theoretically, this would allow 9.7-inch iPad Pro users to upgrade their device while still using the same cases and accessories that they used for their 9.7-inch version.
The DigiTimes article claims that, although production of the 10.5-inch model has been pushed up, and their sources estimate that “volume production of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro may kick off in May-June.” A production schedule for the upgraded 9.7-inch model was not mentioned.