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2017 iPad Pro Announcement

When Will Apple Announce the 10.5-inch iPad Pro?

It's definitely complicated
May 19, 2017

The 2017 iPad Pro Announcement: When Will It Happen?

After the 2017 iPhone, the most anticipated new Apple product set to launch this year is the long-rumored “10.5-inch iPad Pro.” Whether Cupertino announces the product next month or not until the fall remains open to debate.

The budget iPad

The budget iPad

For months, it looked like Apple would announce its new iPad Pro this spring That didn’t happen, of course. Instead, the company announced a new budget iPad in March.

So when will the 10.5-inch iPad Pro launch?

In his “2017 WWDC highlights report” to investors earlier this month, prominent KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained there’s a 70 percent chance Apple will reveal a new iPad Pro during the June 5 keynote address that kicks off the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Today, May 19, a new Digitimes report offers data backing Kuo’s claim. The Taiwanese site notes that production of the new tablet is expected to grow to 600,000 units in July, up from around 500,000 units currently. It says that mass production of the device began in March or April.

So this means a June release date for the new iPad Pro, right? I’m not so sure.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is largely expected to feature a form factor similar to the current 9.7-inch model, but with narrower bezels. The tablet could also ship without a Home button, instead offering an embedded function area.

That last sentence is what gives me pause on a possible June announcement. I still can’t imagine that Apple would reveal a revamped iPad Pro before offering a similarly designed iPhone (whose announcement won’t happen until at least September).

There’s also the issue of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which was first released in November 2015. Would Apple announce a revamped 10.5-inch iPad Pro at the same time as a slightly updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro? I don’t think so.

There are three possible outcomes for rolling out this year’s iPad Pro lineup, in the following order:

  1. Apple only reveals a slightly updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro in June, holding off on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro announcement until the fall.
  2. The company announces both new models next month, but neither tablet includes an embedded function area.
  3. Apple throws a hail mary pass and gives us the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro next month with many of the features we’ll eventually see on the new iPhone. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro update isn’t announced until the fall.

We should know soon enough. The WWDC keynote address is on Monday, June 5, beginning at 10 a.m. PDT. In addition to new hardware, Apple’s likely to use the event to unveil “iOS 11” and next-generation versions of macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

When do you think Apple will reveal the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro? Let us know below. 

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