With no new iPad update for close to a year, the rumor mill is spinning ever faster with whisperings that not one, but three new iPad models could be about to drop into Apple stores in the coming weeks.
However, if you're holding out hope for a big upgrade for any potential 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2 model, you might want to brace for disappointment. The latest rumors coming through the supply chain suggest that it'll be, at best, an incremental upgrade.
According to Macotakara (opens in new tab), the smaller iPad Pro model could be merely getting an internal chip upgrade, putting an A10X chip in to boost GPU and CPU performance over the current A9X option.
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And that could well be it – any other potential additions we've heard coming to the iPad line could be reserved for a revised 12.9-inch model and an all-new 10.5-inch option. Externally, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro would remain exactly the same.
The reasoning would be easy to explain: the 9.7-inch edition becomes the budget, entry option, to the Pro line, with the larger models becoming the more premium, feature-rich devices to splurge cash on. It'd allow Apple to make use of any existing manufacturing processes it uses in the 9.7-inch construction, as well as continuing to shift correspondingly-sized keyboards and existing Apple Pencils.
And as far as update convention for iPad internals goes, the "X" jump for the chip would make sense. While it's an easy claim for the source to make without offering any hard speed figures to accompany it, it'd mirror the same A9-to-A9X jump that was made between the iPhone 6S and first iPad Pro series.
With word of an imminent release being on the cards, and no show-stopping press event currently being spoken of, this budget orientated iPad Pro could easily slip in with little fanfare from Apple.