10.5-inch iPad said to launch in second half of 2017

Rumor has it Apple is planning to release three new iPads this year, including a new 10.5-inch iPad. That much we’ve heard before, though, today DigiTimes shed a bit more light on Apple’s strategy for the new iPad size.

DigiTimes said sources in Apple’s supply chain believe Apple will save the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads for launch during the second half of this year, while it may refresh the standard 9.7-inch iPad model earlier. While Apple currently sells a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new model might not actually be a “pro” device but will return to its roots as a more standard product. Apple will reportedly heavily target the education sector with the new and likely lower cost (compared to the other iPads) tablet.

Apple hasn’t yet released a 10.5-inch iPad and it sounds like this model is set to be the new standard “iPad Pro” with the 12.9-inch continuing to fill the over-sized space for folks who want a larger display. DigiTimes said both tablets will sport a new A10X chip, but didn’t discuss what will power the 9.7-inch model.

New iPads this summer

It’s unclear what else will distinguish the tablets save for processor and screen size. I’m curious if Apple will ditch the smart connector on the 9.7-inch model. That might be a bad decision, at least if it plans to target the education sector. I find the keyboard attachment to be incredibly useful and better than other third-party Bluetooth options. In any case, sounds like we’ll need to wait until at least July for the more powerful new iPads.

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