Now that Apple has introduced a new budget iPad, attention now shifts to the company’s other 2017 iPads. When will these be announced and what will they include? We have some ideas.
The new iPad
On Tuesday, March 21, Apple announced a new, low-cost 9.7-inch tablet, simply called iPad. Priced at $329 for the entry-level model, the new device replaces the iPad Air 2 in the Apple tablet lineup, which now includes just four models. In addition to iPad, there’s the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, plus the 7.9-inch iPad mini 4.
Releasing a budget iPad doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that tablets sales have continued to fall worldwide. Still, one has to wonder what this release means for Apple’s tablet lineup for the rest of the year.
Three or four more tablets coming? And when?
Apple is still expected to announce a new “10.5-inch iPad Pro” later this year. Much like the so-called “iPhone 8,” this tablet could feature a new design that’s bezel-free. The company could also launch a second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a so-called “7.9-inch iPad Pro,” which would replace the iPad mini 4. Also possible: the “9.7-inch iPad Pro 2.”
Given today’s news, Apple will likely hold off on releasing new iPads until the fall. They could arrive during the iPhone 8 event in early September, or like in past years, be announced at a separate event in October.
Three big questions remain, including:
- Will the next 12.9-inch model include the same new design found on the 10.5-inch model?
- Will a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro arrive this fall, or will Apple wait until 2018?
- Is there really a new 7.9-inch iPad coming or will Apple kill off the iPad mini line?
Whether Apple changes the look of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to match that of the 10.5-inch model depends a lot on the supply chain. I’ll take a guess and say that the designs will match.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to replace the 9.7-inch iPad Pro as Apple’s new flagship tablet device. Because of this, I don’t think we’ll ever see a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Instead, we have the new iPad, folks.
The iPad mini? I just can’t see where a 7.9-inch tablet fits into Apple’s future plans. I think the iPhone Plus probably killed it off years ago, although we haven’t heard that news officially.
For more on the 2017 iPad lineup, be take a look at our roundup guide. It’s often updated to reflect the latest news and rumors about Apple’s tablet line.
When do you think Apple will release new iPad? Leave your comments below.