Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to unveil three new iPads in 2017, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The company may release 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5-inch iPad Pro and low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, Kuo said in a new research report. The analyst, who is a reliable source for Apple rumors, mentioned that the iPhone maker is making “revolutionary” changes to the iPad’s design in 2018 to attract more customers as iPads sales continue to decline.
Three New Apple iPads
Kuo expects that Apple will release three new iPads in 2017, including a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model. Two others models will be a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a “low-cost” 9.7-inch iPad model. Kuo, however, did not mention the current 7.9-inch iPad mini in his report. It is possible that this smaller iPad will be phased out.
“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 said in his report.
According to Kuo, 10.5-inch larger size model would be good for the commercial and education markets. Additionally, the analyst expects that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro will get the A10X processor, supplied by TSMC. The low-cost 9.7-inch model may get the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC, Kuo said.
“Revolutionary” Changes To 2018 iPad
Kuo predicts “revolutionary” changes for the iPad lineup for 2018. He believes that the company is making “radical” changes to the iPad’s design and moving to an AMOLED display.
“We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. 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,” Kuo said.
Apple iPads Sales
The U.S. tech behemoth reported selling just under 10 million iPads during the April-June period, versus 11 million units sold in the same quarter last year.
According to IDC, Apple was able to slightly boost its market share as Samsung faced an even larger decline in sales. The entire tablet market, tracked by IDC, declined 12.3% year-over-year from 44.1 million units to 38.7 million.
Kuo seems not optimistic about iPad sales this year. He cut his total 2016 shipment forecast from 45–50 million to 35–40 million mainly due to a lack of new models before the end of the year. The analyst, however, expects decline in shipments despite updated models in 2017 because of general trends in the tablet market.
A report published in The New York Times reveal that the iPad is becoming popular with corporations and governments. “Apple is stronger in the enterprise market with its devices than it is with consumers,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillet told the newspaper.
In other news, recent reports revealed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a real problem in China. The company’s premium handsets are having a hard time proving their worth against the country’s local products.
In addition, a new study found that Apple’s employees are not as innovative as employees at Microsoft. The study revealed that Microsoft’s employees are more innovative than the iPhone maker, as well as Facebook’s staff are less innovative than the majority of the tech workers.