Rumors from Apple’s supply chain in Asia are indicating that production of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro will begin next month, in time for an early 2017 debut.
To accompany what will be a fourth screen size option across the iPad line, the 10.5-inch model will allegedly be the first Apple product to feature an enhanced A10X CPU, basically a beefed-up version of the A10 chip running in the current iPhone 7.
What might we owe a such move for the iPad? Apple has not given up on pushing iPads into the education or enterprise sectors. However, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is too large, in size and in price for schools. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is apparently not big enough for the enterprise. A 10.5-inch tablet could be the “just right” size being sought.
With a spec-ed out 10.5-inch iPad in the stable, the rumors further point to a cheaper 9.7-inch tablet, with the goal of competing against the wide array of Android tablets.
The initial report is coming from DigiTimes, which is not always on target when it comes to rumors. However, industry analysts have floated similar ideas prior to this latest round of rumors, up to, and including the adoption of AMOLED panels.
Given all that, we will take the rumors with a pinch of salt, but remain interested in how Apple might position part of its iPad line to compete with lower-cost Android tablets. That would be an interesting day, indeed.