Apple will launch a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions and an all-new bezel-free 10.9-inch model, according to Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O’Malley, and Jerry Zhang, citing sources within the company’s Asian supply chain.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said the 10.9-inch model’s borderless design will allow for it to be the same physical size as the current-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. That means the display itself will need to have an edge-to-edge design, possibly signaling the removal of the Home button.
Multiple rumors have claimed Apple is developing a new iPad in the 10-inch range, but the exact screen size has varied in each report. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will launch in 2017, while Japanese website Mac Otakara said a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro will launch in early 2017.
Barclays, like Kuo, expects the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro to be a “low-cost” model alongside the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which the analysts do not believe will be refreshed alongside the larger tablets. Instead, the research note said Apple will continue to produce and sell the iPad mini 4, released in September 2015.
Mac Otakara previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.
That report said all three new iPad Pro models will gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model’s same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.
More “revolutionary” changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo’s earlier report.