Apple could be preparing to release new iPad models as early as next week, according to a new report from MacRumors. Citing “reputable supply chain analysts,” the report suggests that Apple is expected to release “new products” later this month, pointing to the week of Mar. 20–24 as the most likely timeframe. While the research firm MacRumors spoke with did not provide any details on which products it expects Apple to announce, it did indicate that the information came from its own first-hand sources.
Suggestions of a March timeframe for the release of new iPad models surfaced as far back as last November, with analysts from Barclays indicating that Apple could be planning to release three new iPad models in that timeframe. Well-connected KGI analysis Ming-Chi Kuo also weighed in earlier this year, reiterating his August prediction of three new iPad models, including a “bezel-free” 10.5” iPad, while adding that the new models were expected in the “second quarter of 2017.”
Although Japanese blog Mac Otakara claimed last month that Apple would be hosting a March event, it’s uncharacteristic for Apple to have not yet sent out media invites if the company is indeed planning an event for next week; although such a move wouldn’t be completely unprecedented — Apple only provided a week’s notice for last fall’s Mac event — it has traditionally allowed for about 11-12 days notice. This suggests that Apple might either be planning a smaller event at its own campus for the reported timeframe, or that the event may still be farther in the future. It is also possible that the “new products” in question may only warrant a press release as opposed to an actual media event.