The iPad lineup has been a bit confusing ever since Apple brought the iPad Pro into the world back in 2015. A disappointing departure from Apple’s history of simplified branding, the company has fallen into the tech industry’s trend of convoluted naming conventions lately.
Apple currently has three iPads in circulation: the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and the iPad mini 4. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro was a replacement for the iPad Air 2, except that it came with the Apple Pencil and keyboard. In other words, as of now there are iPad Pros and an iPad mini, but no standard “iPad”. That could be getting fixed this year.
We’re getting reports that Apple’s Spring event will be focused on revamping its iPad lineup. A report from Japanese website Mac Otakara indicates that Apple is planning to show off a new 7.9-inch iPad mini, an updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as well as a mysterious 10.5-inch iPad. The report was first spotted over at MacRumors.
How Apple is going to brand and present all of these products is still up in the air. One possibility is that Apple will put out a flashy refreshed tablet that is simply called “iPad” that squeezes a 10.5-inch display without a Home button into the footprint of a traditional 9.7-inch iPad. The report above says that the two larger iPads will feature the A10X chip, while the two smaller iPads will have the A9X chip, while all of these iPads are reported to get updated to having quad speakers.
An iPad with an edge-to-edge display would match the rumors we are hearing about the new iPhones that will be coming later this year. In addition, this would follow the branding model of what Apple has done with MacBooks in the past few years: One standard MacBook with the most forward-thinking design and a couple of different versions of the MacBook Pros.
The 10.5-inch iPad might be coming out in May, while the others could be released soon after the event in March. Other reports have not included the 7.9-inch iPad mini—so we’ll have to wait and see what exactly Apple will do.
There’s also a rumor that we’ll be getting a new iPhone SE that comes with 128GB of storage, as well as a red variant of the iPhone 7/7 Plus. Apple released the 9.7-inch iPad Pro along with the iPhone SE last March, so this won’t have been an unprecedented event.