iPad sales aren’t what they used to be. With the release of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it’s clear the iPad’s future is for professionals.
Apple is rumored to be considering an “iPad mini Pro” with a 7.9-inch screen and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro could be replaced with a slightly larger 10.1-inch model, according to the often-reliable Japanese Apple blog Macotakara.
An iPad mini Pro would have all the features that would make it a “pro” tablet, including the True Tone display introduced on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a Smart Connector on the side for magnetically connecting to accessories like a keyboard, quad stereo speakers, an improved 12-megapixel camera with True Tone flash and a new four-array microphone setup.
The iPad mini was last updated in 2015 with the iPad mini 4. As I wrote in my review, it’s basically an iPad Air 2 with a smaller screen.
A larger 10.1-inch iPad Pro would break with the 9.7-inch display that has been the standard size for the iPad since it launched in 2010. It could get the same microphone upgrade the iPad mini Pro is rumored to have.
Moving to a larger screen could also give Apple the screen estate it needs to potentially increase the resolution. Not to mention a larger screen would give people more space to work on and create things. It’s unclear if Apple might ditch the 4:3 aspect ratio if the larger iPad Pro turns up.
The rumor corroborates a previous report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that claimed Apple would introduce a larger iPad Pro; his report, however, claimed the tablet might have a 10.5-inch screen.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro will also reportedly get upgraded with all of the iPad mini Pro’s improvements.
Most notable of all is the new iPad Pros will reportedly keep their 3.5mm headphone jacks. Apple removed the jacks on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to make room for a larger battery, larger Taptic Engine and seal them for water-resistance.
Macotakara believes the new iPad Pros will ship in 2017.