Here's When Apple Could Unveil Its New iPads
Apple’s iPads are getting a refresh in early April, according to a new report.
The tech company is planning to hold a press event in early April, when the company will unveil a 10.5-inch iPad, manufacturing industry news site Digitimes is reporting, citing sources within Apple’s supply chain. The 10.5-inch iPad will sit alongside new 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPads the company is also expected to showcase at its show.
Several reports have surfaced over the last few months that suggest Apple AAPL has plans to deliver new iPads this year. Some earlier reports had suggested that the iPads would be unveiled in March, but others said the devices wouldn’t find their way to store shelves until later this year. Now, most reports are settled that April will be the big month.
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Arguably the biggest rumor surrounding Apple’s iPad plans is the possibility of the company unveiling a 10.5-inch version. Apple currently sells a 7.9-inch iPad Mini, 9.7-inch iPad Air and iPad Pro, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The 10.5-inch model would help the company bridge the gap between the 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad models, but it wouldn’t replace other screen sizes, according to reports.
New iPads generally boost Apple’s tablet division sales. And the iPad unit could use that help.
During Apple’s fiscal first quarter ended December 31, the company’s iPad revenue reached $5.5 billion, a 22% drop compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. Apple’s 13.1 million iPad unit sales fell 19% compared to the prior year. It was the latest in a string of quarterly declines in Apple’s tablet business, which has been struggling to keep pace with two-in-one hybrid computers that can be used both as tablets and notebooks.
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Those troubles have prompted shareholders to worry about the future of Apple’s iPad department. To allay those fears, Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year that he believes the iPad has a long “runway” and that it would correct its course over the long term.
According to Digitimes’ sources, Apple is planning to ship 1 million 10.5-inch iPads from its manufacturing facilities in March, and will boost that number to 1.2 million per month starting in April. Meanwhile, the company plans to ship at least 3-to-4-million 9.7-inch iPad units. The report didn’t say how many 12.9-inch units Apple is planning to ship.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the report.