Waiting for an iPad Pro 2? Don't hold your breath...

Chip problems will cause delays

As our best tech of 2016 rundown showed, it's been a bit of a slow year for tablets. As far as Apple is concerned, that's now looking unlikely to change in 2017, with chip problems likely halting progress on an iPad Pro 2 emerging.

That's according to a source speaking to DigiTimes at Apple chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which has seen lower-than-expected yields on its 10-nanometer A10X chips.

Having wrestled chip business away from Samsung, it's now looking unlikely that TSMC will be able to provide Apple with the parts needed to refresh the pencil-packing tablet line.

Terminal tablets

Tablet sales have been slowing for some time (it's not the sort of product you feel the urge to upgrade every year), and this latest news supports a previous assessment by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who predicted as great as a 20 percent decline in iPad shipments for 2017.

However, it may be a sales rut that Apple itself is predicting.

While 2016 saw the well-received introduction of a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it's thought that the company will be waiting until 2018 before carrying out any significant refresh for its tablet offering. 

For the time being, Tim Cook seems to be suggesting that the company will be refocussing its efforts on its Mac line, with special attention heaped on its desktop output.