10.5-Inch iPad Pro Reviews: Impressive Screen and Hardware Update That Will Improve With iOS 11

One week after Apple introduced the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro at the WWDC keynote in San Jose, California, reviews for the device have begun circulating online. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro has replaced the 9.7-inch device, offering a larger display with 40 percent smaller bezels, ProMotion display technology with refresh rates of up to 120Hz, a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, and more.

In its review, TechCrunch points out that the overall impressiveness of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is largely dependent upon the device running iOS 11 -- which includes an array of iPad-specific updates. Of course, the new software won't launch until the fall, well after the 10.5-inch iPad Pro arrives to first adopters this week, but TechCrunch called it an "amazing" iPad when it does run iOS 11, saying that, "It pays off years of setup in ways that come home when you see how well iOS 11 works."

Image via Engadget

Even without iOS 11 the site did enjoy the new screen size, noting that it hit the sweet spot in terms of tablet form factor, and going so far as to say that Apple may decide to drop the 12.9-inch iPad Pro at some point: "I'd expect to see all iPads at 10.5 inches at some point. It's just the right size." TechCrunch ultimately concluded that, with the debut of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, "the iPad is a full-fledged computer."
Science fiction movies and books have for decades displayed tablets as the future of mid-range computing. And it makes sense. In a world of artificial intelligence, greater mobility and voice-first systems, a keyboard feels stupid and archaic.

With the iPad Pro, especially when it’s armed with iOS 11, it’s beginning to feel possible to see Apple in this world. The combination of custom silicon, a still robust and specifically attuned software ecosystem and a focus on security, Apple has everything it needs to make a strong showing here.

Whether it leads to future growth of the category I don’t yet know – but this particular recipe is coming to maturity. The iPad is a full-fledged computer, and you can argue against it but you’re going to increasingly sound like an idiot.
One of Ars Technica's favorite additions to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is the device's screen and its refresh rate, which has been bumped up from 60Hz to 120Hz. Apple calls the technology behind the refresh rate bump "ProMotion," and it allows for overall smoother animations and motions on the iPad's display, creating a better user experience and reducing input lag. When the iPad doesn't need a full 120Hz refresh rate, it can dip to as low as 24Hz, "and pretty much anywhere in between," in order to save battery life.
As for how it is to use a 120Hz display, I can say that it’s undeniably slick and it makes animations and transitions look great; it’s also easier to read text and scroll simultaneously, since the “ghosting” effect you get at 60Hz is much-reduced. None of the display improvements that Apple has made post-Retina—an ever-longer list that now includes the DCI-P3 color gamut, True Tone, and ProMotion—have had quite as big an impact as those sharper screens did, but the 120Hz refresh rate comes close. The sooner this trickles outward to the iPhone and Apple’s various Macs, the better.
Ars Technica called the new display, "The best screen Apple ships," and hopes for Apple to soon introduce the technology into iPhone and Mac sometime in the future. The site also dove deep into performance tests of the new iPad Pro, noting that single-core performance was up 25 percent with the A10X chip, while multi-core performance improved by nearly 80 percent, "If you’re using an app that can hit all three of the high-performance CPU cores at once."

The Verge got between 8 and 9 hours of battery life on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, describing the tablet as a "stupendous device" that most people should probably not buy at launch. The site explained the expensive price point an iPad Pro becomes to turn it into a main computing device, including extra-cost accessories like Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and upping storage, while also continuing the theme of many reviews posted today about the new iPad: it's launching too early.

Now that we know that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is an impressive device and that we further know that iOS 11 is going to radically change how you use it, let’s get back to that value equation I mentioned earlier. Basically, should you buy it? The iPad Pro 10.5 presents a conundrum: it is a stupendous device that I firmly believe most people shouldn’t buy just yet.

If you’re going to spend that much money on an iPad, you should know exactly what you’re going to do with it that takes advantage of all the Pro features. There are people who are already doing that, but I don’t think the majority of computer users can be comfortable using an iPad as their main device. For those who can, go out and buy the hell out of this thing (unless you already have the iPad Pro 9.7).

For the rest of us, my advice is to hold out and see whether iOS 11 changes the calculus.
There are a wealth of other opinions about the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to read today, including reviews posted from the following sites: Engadget, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Business Insider, MacStories, CNET, and The Loop. For other WWDC-related review roundups, check out the first impressions of the new MacBook and iMacs, as well as opinions on HomePod.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Logitech Debuts Slim Combo Case for 10.5-Inch and 12.9-Inch iPad Pro With Detachable Backlit Keyboard

Logitech has revealed an all-new "Slim Combo" case for the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, which Apple announced during yesterday's WWDC keynote. Logitech said it worked with Apple to ensure the new case will be in Apple retail stores the same day as the new iPads, and users interested can begin purchasing the case from Logitech and Apple's websites today.

The Slim Combo case can be used in four different modes: Typing, Viewing, FaceTime, and Reading. The company said that users will be able to comfortably type, remove the keyboard to sketch with Apple Pencil, switch to portrait mode for FaceTime, and more.


“In the past, you were bound to a workspace with a PC, and used your tablet for quick messages or entertainment when you weren’t in the office; that’s not the case anymore,” said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility at Logitech. “To be a pro today, you need the power of the PC, but more easily available whether you're on a train, at the park, in a meeting or wherever you need to be. The Slim Combo unleashes the power of iPad Pro to bring you the future of personal computing; a future that’s easier, faster and more fun.”
The keyboard connects using Apple's Smart Connector and features full-size backlit keys (with three levels of brightness) as well as a dedicated row of iOS shortcut keys. Shortcuts include Home, screen brightness, search, switch keyboard language, keyboard brightness, media controls, volume controls, and a lock screen toggle.


When done typing, the keyboard acts as a front-facing protective cover for the iPad's screen. Multiple viewing angles are supported thanks to two micro hinges that let the case recline within a 50-degree range, and Logitech has also added in an Apple Pencil holder. For the larger 12.9-inch version, users can fold half of the cover under the keyboard to reduce its footprint.


The Slim Combo for 10.5-inch iPad Pro is available to purchase today from Logitech at $129.99, while the Slim Combo for 12.9-inch iPad Pro is listed at $149.99, and both are available in black and classical blue. Apple is also selling the cases on its online store.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Logitech

Discuss this article in our forums

Microsoft Surface Beats iPad in Design, Productivity, and Accessory Use in New J.D. Power Study

The Microsoft Surface has been ranked the highest in overall consumer satisfaction, and six points above Apple's iPad in second place, according to J.D. Power's 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. This marks the first top spot win for Microsoft in all six years that J.D. Power has published the Tablet Satisfaction Study, with the company earning a total 855 satisfaction score out of a potential 1,000 points.

The J.D. Power U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction in the tablet market by looking at five areas: performance (28 percent); ease of operation (22 percent); features (22 percent); styling and design (17 percent); and cost (11 percent). The study accounts for 2,238 tablet owners who have owned their current device for less than one year, with participants being questioned between October and December 2016.

With these rankings, Microsoft has received the designation as "among the best" on the market, while Apple at 849 points is "better than most."


According to J.D. Power, Microsoft's win this year "is largely due to its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors." The company earned top marks in categories related to the variety of pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity, and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. This last category highlights the Surface's versatility, according to consumers, who reportedly "have the highest incidences of accessory use" with Microsoft Surface when compared to competitors.

Specifically, the Microsoft Surface's stylus saw a 48 percent usage rate in comparison to 27 percent of the industry average, while the tablet's add-on keyboard had a 51 percent usage rate in comparison to just a 14 percent industry average. Rounding out the Surface's pros were its variety of input/output ports (like a microSD card slot, USB 3.0, and 3.5mm headphone jack) and amount of internal storage available.
“The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, vice president of service industries at J.D. Power. “These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.”
Microsoft also beat Apple in areas like the size of the tablet, quality of materials used, and attractiveness of tablet design. Microsoft's customers who are using the Surface Pro line of tablets are said to largely be early adopters (51 percent), younger than the customers of its competitors, and "more likely to consider productivity features as important." Microsoft customers tend to list productivity-related tasks as "very important" in comparison to industry average, like emailing, word processing, and banking.


Overall, J.D. Power found that customer satisfaction with their tablets is rising, with the study average sitting at 841 and increasing 21 index points from the six-months-ago iteration of the study. Customers are also tending to choose large screens, with satisfaction at 869 points for customers with screens measuring 10 inches or more, 850 points for screens 8-10 inches or more, and 824 for screens less than 8 inches.

More key findings include:


  • Driving the selection process: Lower price and past experience are the most commonly cited reasons for tablet selection among customers (22% each). Reputation is next at 19%.
  • Data plans increase satisfaction: Nearly one-third (32%) of customers have a data plan with their tablet. Overall satisfaction among customers with a data plan is 863 vs. 834 among those without such a plan.

    Apple has moved up and down J.D. Power's Tablet Satisfaction Study throughout the years, earning the top spot on some iterations of the study, while falling back down a few months later in others. Previous first place holders include Amazon and its Fire Tablets, as well as Samsung. When it's on top, Apple has used J.D. Power's ratings in numerous web campaigns in the past.


    Discuss this article in our forums

  • 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Entering Limited Production, But Spring, WWDC, or Fall Launch Remains Unclear

    Apple's manufacturing partners will begin limited production of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro this month, according to IHS Markit analyst Rhoda Alexander, who spoke with Forbes over the weekend.


    At this point, however, it remains unclear whether the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be announced later this spring, at WWDC 2017 in June, or in the fall or later, and rumors are lacking consensus.

    Japanese blog Mac Otakara previously said Apple would unveil its new iPad Pro lineup at a March event, but that rumor failed to materialize. Instead, Apple last week announced a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, 128GB iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands, and a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus through its Newsroom.

    The latest rumor from DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration" of its new Apple Park campus, which opens to employees next month. While this timeline could be correct, it's unlikely Apple would have shared such specific plans with the supply chain.

    Alexander believes an April launch "still looks somewhat tentative," but she said "the necessary elements are starting to come together," so it's possible Apple could do a limited spring launch in the United States and select other countries, followed by a wider rollout as production ramps up.

    A person with sources within Apple's supply chain told MacRumors that they still expect the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to launch in the spring. The person requested full confidentiality due to the nature of their position.
    It looks like Apple is doing the releases in a staggered fashion. I still expect a 10-inch-range iPad sometime in the spring. The supply chain is pretty clear that it is coming, maybe as soon as April.
    A handful of Apple analysts that we spoke to reiterated that a fall launch is more likely, however, and if volume production has yet to begin, then a launch later this year rather than sooner is certainly a possibility.

    Apple pundit John Gruber made a good point last week about why it would make sense for Apple to wait until at least October to announce the 10.5-inch iPad Pro: to avoid spoiling the design of the much-rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display, which is expected to be announced in September.
    I think the most likely explanation is that Apple is working on a new edge-to-edge design iPad with a 10.5-inch display, but that it’s a 2018 thing, not a 2017 thing. Or, at the very earliest, a late 2017 thing — something they could unveil in October. […]

    Among all the other aforementioned things that don’t make sense regarding the rumor that a 10.5-inch iPad is imminent is the idea that the new design language would debut on an iPad, not an iPhone.
    But just how much of a spoiler the 10.5-inch iPad Pro might be remains to be seen, as rumors are conflicting about whether the tablet will have an edge-to-edge display or simply a narrow bezel design. It is also uncertain if Apple will remove the Home button on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in line with the "iPhone 8."

    Back in August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would launch a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in "2017," and he generally shares accurate information, so there is a good chance the tablets are coming at some point this year. He also predicted the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

    Just a few weeks ago, mobile marketing firm Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data. As it turns out, these model identifiers are not for the new 9.7-inch iPad, suggesting that they could be for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

    Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would suggest a release by the end of April.

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums

    Low-Cost iPad Not Among the New iPad Models Spotted in Device Logs Earlier This Month

    Back in mid-March, mobile marketing company Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data, hinting at the imminent release of new hardware.

    We did indeed see a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad introduced via press release on Tuesday, March 21, but as it turns out, the identifiers for the new 9.7-inch iPad don't match up with the iPads Fiksu saw, suggesting there could still be additional iPad models set to be released in the not-so-distant future.


    The new iPad's identifier is "iPad6,11" and "iPad6,12," with one number each for for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Fiksu, meanwhile, saw the following identifiers in its device logs:

    - iPad7,1
    - iPad7,2
    - iPad7,3
    - iPad7,4

    These numbers could perhaps refer to new iPad Pro models in two sizes, 12.9-inch and either 9.7-inches or perhaps the new rumored 10.5-inch model. The identifiers Fiksu saw are similar to the existing identifiers for the current 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.

    - 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7
    - 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8
    - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3
    - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4

    In the original report, Fiksu said the number of new iPad models in its data was steadily ramping up, and that in its experience, those increasing numbers indicate an "imminent" release. Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would put a release somewhere around mid-April.

    There has been a lot of confusion around iPad Pro launch timelines. Rumors originally suggested a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, and perhaps a new 12.9-inch model would launch in the spring alongside the low-cost 9.7-inch model, but we only got the latter.

    It is now unclear when we will see new iPad Pro models. The release of a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad (and a new iPhone color and new Apple Watch bands) via press release seems to suggest we aren't going to see a spring event and thus no spring launch of new iPads, but it's not an impossibility.

    If a spring debut doesn't happen, we could potentially see a launch at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June or Apple could hold off on a launch until the fall, introducing iPads alongside new iPhones in September. At this point, Apple's iPad plans are murky at best, and we'll need to wait for more information to narrow down a release timeline.

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums

    The New iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2

    Apple yesterday announced the newest addition to its iPad lineup, somewhat confusingly called the "iPad" and known officially as the "5th-generation iPad," following in the footsteps of the fourth-generation model that was released before the iPad Air.

    Designed to replace the iPad Air, the iPad comes with a tantalizingly low price tag: $329. It is Apple's most affordable tablet to date and it's a competitive price point that will allow the iPad to better compete with lower-priced Android offerings.

    What do you get for $329? As it turns out, quite a lot. The iPad is a little bit iPhone 6s, a little bit iPad Air, and a little bit iPad Air 2.


    In a nutshell, compared to the iPad Air 2, the iPad has a brighter display and a faster A9 processor (first introduced in the iPhone 6s). Other internal hardware seems to be very similar to what's included in the iPad Air 2, with the exception of the display and the casing. Camera, battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE, and other sensors are all nearly the same.

    The iPad does not include a laminated display, and is thus thicker, much like the original iPad Air. It measures in at 7.5mm thick, compared to the 6.1mm iPad Air 2. The thickness and accompanying weight discrepancy is noticeable and the one downside between the new iPad and its predecessor.

    Compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new iPad is, of course, significantly inferior, which is why it's priced at $329 and not $599. It does not support the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard (no Smart Connector), and it lacks many of the display improvements, including True Tone color shifting and wide color gamut.

    The iPad has a slower processor than the iPad Pro, an inferior camera (8-megapixel vs. 12-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel vs. 5-megapixel front), two speakers instead of four, a slower LTE modem, and of course, since the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the same size as the iPad Air 2, the iPad is noticeably thicker and heavier.

    If you're looking for top of the line hardware and accessory support, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the tablet to buy, but if you don't need the bells and whistles, the iPad is a steal at its price point.

    Performance wise, it's going to run all the latest games and apps, it'll take decent pictures, it still has a high-quality Retina display, and it features a 10 hour battery life, so it will hold up for several years, especially when doing basic tasks like web browsing and emailing.



    Click for larger version

    For those looking for a bit more, Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce an updated ~10-inch iPad Pro model that's going to replace the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The ~10-inch model is said to have smaller bezels and perhaps an edge-to-edge display, allowing it to feature a bigger screen in a 9.7-inch-sized body.

    That tablet was originally rumored to be coming in the spring, but now it's looking like we won't see it until later in the year. Based on rumors, it may be worth the wait for those willing to shell out more money for the best technology.

    Apple plans to start selling the new iPad on Friday, March 24. The entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model will be priced at $329, and a 128GB model is available for $429. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available at a $130 premium, so $459 for 32GB and $559 for 128GB.

    For more details on Apple's new iPad, make sure to check out our official iPad roundup. And for details on the upcoming iPad Pro updates, check out our iPad Pro roundup.


    Discuss this article in our forums

    Apple Online Store Going Down for ‘Maintenance’ Tomorrow Morning Ahead of Rumored Product Updates

    Apple has updated its System Status page to indicate that its online store will be "updated and unavailable" due to "maintenance" tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.


    The timing of the downtime will naturally stir speculation given that Apple is rumored to launch new products as early as this week. Moreover, Apple commonly issues press releases at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which is exactly when the so-called "maintenance" update is scheduled to be completed.

    Last week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during this week.

    The research firm did not disclose which products it expects Apple to announce, but rumors have widely suggested at least a trio of new iPad Pro models will be unveiled as early as this month, including an all-new 10.5-inch model with slimmer bezels and updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions.

    At this point, it remains unclear if the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is ready, which could delay its introduction until a future Spring event or WWDC 2017. However, a press release would be appropriate for the more iterative updates expected for the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models, along with any other smaller announcements.

    Given that it is already March 20, and that Apple usually invites the media to its launch events at least 10 days beforehand, an update to its online store accompanied by a press release is likely at this point if new products are imminent.

    Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will host a March event to debut its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, new Apple Watch bands, and a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but this rumor is looking increasingly unlikely with only 11 days remaining in March.

    Apple recently redesigned its System Status page to provide more granular details about the statuses of its services, so there is no precedence for it foreshadowing new product announcements this way. In saying that, it is certainly possible that the downtime will indeed be related to maintenance and nothing else.

    (Thanks, Nathan!)

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Tags: system status, Apple retail
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums

    Apple May Announce 9.7-Inch ‘iPad Pro 2’ as Early as Next Week

    Earlier this week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during the week of March 20. The research firm did not say which products it expects, or the manner in which they will be announced.


    Following our report, some Japanese analysts have predicted that a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be announced next week, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The analysts are reportedly basing this prediction on supply chain information and the lack of a scheduled Apple event next week.

    Given that Apple usually invites the media to a launch event at least 10 days beforehand, and if the information we were provided about Apple announcing new products as early as next week is accurate, it is possible the so-called "iPad Pro 2" could be announced via press release rather than at a launch event.

    A press release could be an appropriate manner for Apple to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, given that rumors suggest it will be an iterative upgrade. One of the only rumored additions to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is quad microphones, while Mac Otakara suggests it could have a faster Apple A10X chip.

    KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro this year, likely with its current Apple A9X chip. He did not mention an entirely new 9.7-inch model. If the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is essentially only getting a price cut, then a press release as early as next week would be fitting.

    Apple similarly issued a press release when it dropped the price of the fourth-generation iPad to $399 in March 2014. Apple's current low-cost 9.7-inch model, the iPad Air 2, starts at $399, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599.

    Beyond the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple is rumored to launch an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the near future. A few reports claim a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro could also be released, but some analysts disagree and do not expect the iPad mini 4 to be updated.

    The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have slimmer bezels, and there is a slim chance it will have no Home button, allowing it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This design could foreshadow the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone. The tablet is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones.

    The updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.

    While it is becoming clear that new iPads are on the horizon, Apple's exact launch plans remain convoluted.

    If Apple still plans to host an event later this month as one increasingly unlikely rumor said, it would most likely fall between Monday, March 27 and Friday, March 31, given the 10-plus-day buffer for inviting the media.

    At this event, the rumor said Apple will unveil its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, and new Apple Watch bands. The report also claimed Apple will add a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could be part of its charitable (PRODUCT)RED campaign.

    Of course, the event could be later. Taiwanese website DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration of Apple's new headquarters in California," but it is unlikely that the supply chain sources cited would know this specific information.

    It is also unclear if Steve Jobs Theater would be ready for an April event, as Apple indicated it opens "later this year" despite employees starting to move in next month. The latest drone footage by Duncan Sinfield shows that the theater is still under construction and surrounded by mounds of dirt.

    Steve Jobs Theater is shown around the 1:45 mark

    Apple could hold an event elsewhere, or even wait until WWDC 2017 in June. Or, just like a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a red iPhone 7, 128GB iPhone SE, and new Apple Watch bands could certainly be announced by press release or an update to Apple's website in the meantime.

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Tag: macotakara.jp
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums

    Apple Rumored to Unveil 10.5-Inch iPad Pro at Early April Event

    Apple is planning to unveil its rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an event set to be held in early April to "mark the inauguration" of its Apple Park campus, reports Taiwanese site DigiTimes citing supply chain sources.

    DigiTimes previously said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro would not be available until May or June, but now claims Apple has "moved ahead the production" of the rumored tablet.

    Over the past few weeks, we've heard a lot of speculation about when Apple will debut the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and its sister tablet(s). Rumors originally suggested the company would hold an event in March, but that has been in question as it is nearly mid-month with no hint of an event.


    Earlier today, a reliable supply chain source told MacRumors that Apple would announce products later this month, likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24. There was also a rumor circulating suggesting Apple would hold an event on April 4, but that was incorrectly based on an erroneous interpretation of Personal Pickup dates for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

    While we haven't yet nailed down a specific timeline for the unveiling of new iPads, the prospective launch window is narrowing and rumors suggest we're going to see them within the next month. Just today, new iPad models were spotted in device logs gathered by Fiksu, suggesting a release is indeed on the horizon. Fiksu, like our unnamed supply chain source and DigiTimes, believes a launch is imminent.

    If an event takes place in April, it could potentially be held at Apple's new campus, Apple Park, but there's one snag in that plan. Apple is going to open the campus in April, but the company's press release said the auditorium where events will be held, now dubbed the Steve Jobs Theater, will open "later this year." The wording makes it unclear if the theater will be ready for Apple Park's grand opening, and thus ready for an event.

    According to today's report from DigiTimes, Apple plans to target the education and business sectors with both the rumored 10.5-inch iPad and a refreshed 12.9-inch model, which the site says will be Apple's "mainstream products" for the mid-tier to high-end tablet market in 2017.

    While DigiTimes believes the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will now see an April debut, the site says the production schedule for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro "still remains unclear" with volume production perhaps delayed until May or June.

    Rumors suggest that the new 12.9-inch iPad will feature a modest refresh, but the 10.5-inch model is rumored to have a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge display and a body that's actually the same size as the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. There have also been rumors suggesting Apple plans to release a lower-end 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a 7.9-inch model, but whether those rumors are true remains to be seen as the focus has mainly been on Apple's larger upcoming tablets.

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums

    New iPad Models Spotted in Device Logs

    Multiple new iPad models are being tested in Cupertino and the nearby Bay Area, potentially confirming rumors suggesting several refreshed iPads are launching in the near future.

    New iPad model identifiers have been spotted in device data collected by mobile marketing company Fiksu and were shared by TechCrunch this morning. Four identifiers have been popping up in data logs, but that doesn't necessarily correspond to four new devices as WiFi and WiFi + Cellular iPads historically have different model numbers. Fiksu believes the numbers correspond to between two and four new iPads.


    Below are the iPad identifiers that have been found along with their corresponding count, as provided by Fiksu. Only a small number of visits have been seen, which Fiksu says is "about the same number we see being tested about a month before release."

    - iPad 7,1 - 17
    - iPad 7,2 - 11
    - iPad 7,3 - 5
    - iPad 7,4 - 10

    These identifiers are similar to identifiers for existing iPad Pro models, which are as follows:

    - 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7
    - 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8
    - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3
    - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4

    At the very least, the presence of these identifiers suggests there are a minimum of two new iPad models in the works, in line with rumors suggesting Apple is working on both a revamped 10.5-inch iPad Pro that will effectively replace the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch model.

    The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge display that allows Apple to fit a larger screen in the same 9.7-inch form factor, and it is said to include an A10X processor and Touch ID built directly into the display.

    Rumors sourced from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested there are supposed to be three new models on the horizon, including a 12.9-inch tablet, a lower-cost 9.7-inch tablet (priced as low as $299), and the flagship 10.5-inch tablet, while Japanese site Mac Otakara has claimed Apple could be working on four iPads, the three mentioned by Kuo along with a 7.9-inch iPad mini Pro model.

    Though Fiksu is seeing only four identifiers, it's possible additional iPads are in development but haven't been found in device logs as of yet.

    On the other hand, it potentially indicates we're going to get a new 10.5-inch model and a new 12.9-inch model, with no new iPad mini or refreshed lower-end 9.7-inch model. This scenario doesn't fit Mac Otakara's prediction, but should Apple lower the price of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it does fit in with what Kuo has predicted.

    Apple's new iPads could debut as soon as later this month, according to supply chain analysts who shared the information with MacRumors this morning. Apple may be planning an event or a release for late March, perhaps even as early as next week.

    Related Roundup: iPad Pro
    Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

    Discuss this article in our forums