Apple was expected to unveil its third-generation iPad Air at an event in March, but 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman claims the company has different plans. The iPhone maker will be unveiling a new tablet that will be a smaller version of the iPad Pro and not an iPad Air 3, says Gurman.
Smaller iPad Pro
It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the days of the iPad being a completely keyboard-free device will not last much longer.
“Specifically, the smaller iPad Pro will have nearly identical features and specifications as the bigger model, bringing along the A9X processor and RAM upgrades from the 12.9-inch model,” says Gurman.
Gurman informs readers that the smaller iPad Pro will feature a smaller version of the Smart Keyboard and support the Apple Pencil stylus. Just like the larger version of the device, the smaller version will include quad-stereo speakers. Thenew iPad Pro will be a 9.7-inch device and is expected to come in the same colors and have similar storage capabilities as the larger iPad Pro, he said.
Apple gave a boost to the iPad mini last fall along with the unveiling of the iPad Pro. The company launched the super-sized tablet that boasts of a 12.9-inch screen with 5.9 million pixels in November. It weighs just 1.57lbs (712 grams) and is 0.3 inches (6.9mm) thick.
Apple may discontinue some iPad models
Apple is slowing down the production of the older iPad mini and original iPad Air models, says Grumman, citing unnamed sources. This means that upon the launch of the smaller iPad Pro, the company may discontinue the iPad mini 2 and first-generation iPad Air.
It is expected that the new iPad Pro will be launched in March with the rumored iPhone 5se, which is expected to be a smaller version of the iPhone 6s. The launch of this new iPad Pro will likely open up more opportunities for Apple to simplify its iPad lineup. At the March event, Apple is expected to unveil the 4-inch iPhone 5se with A9 chip and many new Apple Watch band options.
On Thursday, Apple shares closed up 0.69% at $96.76. Year to date, the stock is down by over 8%, while in the last year, it is down by over 25%.