Is A 10.5-inch iPad Pro Coming Next Year?

We’re apparently getting a new model for the iPad in 2017. MacRumours has reported that along with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch regular iPad in store for us next year, we’ll be getting a 10.5-inch iPad as well. The news comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Now this isn’t necessarily a great idea. You already had three different sized tablets to begin with. There was the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch regular iPad as well as the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. Adding a fourth might give you more options but did you really need any more to begin with? There is also a rumour that the iPad line up will get a facelift in 2018 with flexible AMOLED screens. The 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2 will have the A10X chip while the next 9.7 inch iPad will feature the A9X chip that is in the current 9.7 inch iPad Pro. ipad_lineup_2016_sides

The introduction of the 10.5-inch iPad has to do with the sales of the product. Though they are declining, there is a noticeable surge in demand from governments and businesses. Nearly half of all iPad sales go to them and the high end iPad line up is mostly popular among business executives. The iPad and smart devices in general have helped businesses grow and stay integrated. It also helps individual employees take their work home with them.

The analysis from Kuo curiously doesn’t mention the iPad Mini at all. This maybe because the iPad Mini is declining in sales due to the introduction of the 5.5 inch Plus model for the iPhone. Customers just don’t find use for a small tablet when a phone that big is available.

Tablets are following the smartphone trend of getting bigger it appears. When I first heard of the Samsung Galaxy View, the 18.4 inch tablet, I laughed. I wondered who would want such a big tablet? And then the 12.9 inch iPad Pro arrived and the 13.5 inch Surface Book made its debut. And people seemed to like them. Specifically artists, businessmen, doctors, engineers and architects. The tablet has become the new blank slate that people can use to create incredible art and work on projects with more ease than they could ever before. Say what you will about the reintroduction of the stylus (the Apple Pencil) to the iPad, a move Steve Jobs might have hated, but it has made the iPad much more functional for those artistically inclined.

iPad Sales Have Begun To Decline Sharply

Overall, there has been a decline in the sales of Apple’s famed tablet over the last year. Though the sales of the iPad had peaked in 2014 with 26 million units sold in the first quarter, 2015 brought that number down considerably. The sales in the first and second quarter of 2015 were 21.42 million and 12.62 million respectively while the same quarters in 2016 delivered a disappointing figure of 16.12 million and 10.25 million. The third quarter didn’t improve things with 9.95 million units sold this year compared to 10.93 million units sold last year. Apple needs a big win with its tablet line next year.