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Sep 06, 2016 08:01 AM EDT

iPad Pro 2 Release Date: A New iPad Pro Variant Likely In 2017 [RUMORS]; Will iPad Pro Mini Oust iPad Mini 5?

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Rumors are rife about Apple gearing up to expand its iPad lineup early next year, with an all-new 10.5-inch addition to its iPad Pro lineup.

According to a research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Cupertino-based tech firm is thinking about releasing the new tablet early next year in three variations including a brand new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a budget 9.7-inch iPad, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, MacRumors reported.

Kuo added that the three new iPads slated to be launched in 2017, may not "drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds." If rumors proved to be true, Apple will add an in-between iteration for the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2.

If the iPad is released in a larger size - for instance, 10.5-inch model - Kuo said that it will be easier to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. Taking this into consideration, Apple is expected to debut a 10.5" iPad Pro next year.

Moreover, Kuo added there is a possibility that the 12.9" iPad Pro 2 and 10.5" iPad Pro will opt for the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) as they are one and the only supplier that use 10nm process technology. The budget-friendly 9.7" model, on the other hand, may go for the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.

In addition to pointing this out, Kuo also spilled the beans about Apple's plan to increase shipment growth by launching the iPad Pro 10.5 inch model, as it will also appeal to education and commercial sectors. Until the full specs of these variants are unveiled; Apple is likely to make use of technology that allow the iPad lineups to get faster screen zooming, panning and scrolling.

Meanwhile, a different variant is rumored to make an appearance under the iPad Pro 2 lineup, which will be dubbed as iPad Pro Mini, Yibada reported.

If rumors doing rounds are anything to go by, this will oust an upcoming iPad Mini 5 by completing the new iPad Pro 2 series by adding a Mini.

Moreover, if this speculation turns out to be true, an iPad Pro Mini may be released with basic specs and a 7.9-inch display, just like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2 version. The iPad Pro 2 tablet is rumored to run A10 X processor, but the new 9.7-inch will probably get A9X processor as it is listed under low-end market.

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