This past week, two new reports came out about the iPad lineup with details for the release date of each model. The iPad Pro, which has been rumored for years, will finally be announced alongside the iPad mini 4 in October. The iPad Air 3 will apparently be put off until 2016. The first report comes to us from Economic Daily News and cites their source as an analyst so it’s based on someone’s thoughts versus someone actually working within the company. The second one, which is from DigiTimes, cites inside sources so it’s more likely to be correct.
Economic Daily News reports that Apple will be launching the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4 in October, as anticipated, but will hold off on the iPad Air 3 to focus their efforts on the larger tablet. The iPad Air 3 will wait until 2016 to get updated. It also says the fourth generation of the iPad mini will be final generation as Apple plans to discontinue it in favor of other similar products, like the iPhone 6 Plus with 5.5″ display. Apple may be seeing cannibalization in sales with their iPhone lineup versus the iPad lineup. The iPad mini used to be thought of as a smaller iPad, but now it’s more of a larger iPhone 6 Plus. I have both the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad mini 2, but I don’t use my tablet as much as I did when I had the 4″ iPhone 5. The 6 Plus could replace the iPad mini or the mini could be used in conjunction with a smaller iPhone. If Apple comes out with the rumored 4″ iPhone 6c then perhaps the iPad mini would continue to have a place. Currently, I highly doubt Apple will discontinuing any iPad model any time soon and I doubt they would skip updating the iPad Air.
For the second report, DigiTimes writes that the iPad Pro will be announced in October and then released in mid-November. Apple is apparently “cautious” about placing orders so they are waiting until September for suppliers to start producing parts. Current rumors suggest the iPad Pro will have a 12.9″ Force Touch display with A9 processor and 2GB of RAM. It is also rumored to come with Apple’s first stylus, a USB-C port and NFC connectivity.
iPad Pro Mockup: Martin Hajek