Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is doubling down on his August prediction that Apple will release three iPads in the second quarter of 2017, claiming Apple will release 12.9”, 10-10.5” and 9.7” models. The 12.9” is expected to be the new version of the existing iPad Pro and the 9.7” will be a “low-priced option” aimed at entry-level tablet buyers. There’s still some uncertainty around the final size of the high-end 10-10.5” option, mostly because a narrow bezel design could mean the device fits into the current footprint of the 9.7” iPad Pro while providing a larger screen, but how far Apple will go in eliminating the bezels is still unclear.
Analysts at Barclays claimed in November that Apple would add a 10.9” bezel-free iPad with the same external dimensions as the 9.7” iPad Pro. Later that month, Macotakara cited an “informed source in Taiwan” who claimed the 10.9” version would eliminate the bezels along the bottom and sides of the device and increase the thickness of the tablet to 7.5mm (from the current 6.1mm). But that report claimed the 10.9” would be replacing the 9.7” and that Apple would also be releasing a new iPod mini, predictions that Kuo doesn’t seem to support. As far as internal specifications, Kuo predicts the higher-end iPads will feature the A10X chip while the 9.7” model will be given the A9. [via 9to5Mac]