Apple might not be dominating the tablet game right now, but there looks to be some big changes on the way for the iPad according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is usually pretty spot on with rumors.
We are told to expect a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro next year, which will join the current 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch tablets, with Kuo saying: "We expect three new iPads (12.9" iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5" iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7" iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017F shipments to fall 10-20% YoY".
Kuo continued: "If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5" model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5" iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9" iPad Pro 2 and 10.5" iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7" model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC".
From Kuo's post, you can see that the 9.7-inch iPad will be a "low-cost" version that might use the A9X processor while the larger 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models will rock the new A10X processor. But it's the iPad coming in 2018 that will be "revolutionary," in the words of Kuo, who said: "Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel".
"We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest," Kuo continued, adding: "If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments".