tech2 News StaffJan 09, 2017 09:22:03 IST
Tablets sales have been seeing a decline year on year. And it has been an industry-wide trend, to which Apple isn't immune either. But the iPad release cycle will go on as usual. If reports are to be believed, a new 10-10.5-inch form factor is in the works as well.
According to a report in 9to5Mac, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo KGI Securities has stated that three new iPads will be released in the second quarter of 2017. Apart from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and 9.7-inch iPad, we will also see one in the 10-10.5-inch form factor which is expected to come in a bezel-free design.
"We note the 12.9-inch model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the 10-10.5-inch model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7-inch model will be the low-priced option," says the Ming-Chi Kuo. The report states that while the 12.9-inch and 10-10.5-inch models will house the Apple A10X chipset made by TSMC, the 9.7-inch iPad will have an Apple A9 chip made by Samsung LSI.
The decline in shipments of the iPads will continue, but it will not be as steep as last year. "Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10 percent from 2016’s roughly 20 percent, given that the 10-10.5-inch model may see more demand from commercial/enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7-inch model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60 percent of total shipments of new iPads," says the report.
Kuo says that the reason for the slowdown on the decline of shipment is due to many factors. One of the reasons being given is that there is a better product mix and a decreased exposure to the iPad mini. Secondly, there has been an improved cost structure due to an increasing number of suppliers on touch-module lamination.
Last year, there were rumours of a 10.5-inch iPad launching in 2017, on Digitimes. But Kuo's 10-10.5-inch range hints that Apple is still not fixed on the exact size and is experimenting with multiple form factors.