Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
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Apple to Launch Trio of iPad Pros in Spring 2017, Including 7.9-Inch Mini Model
The report, citing "reliable sources," said the 12.9-inch model 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.
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.
The smaller 7.9-inch model, which will succeed the iPad mini 4, will likewise include a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with True Tone flash, as Apple works to standardize features across its tablet lineup, according to the report.
All three new iPad Pro models will reportedly gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.
Today's report mostly corroborates KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in August said Apple is planning to release three new iPads in 2017. However, his research note claimed the trio of models would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.
Kuo made no mention of a refreshed 7.9-inch model. It has been speculated the iPad mini could be nearing the end of its line due to Apple's focus on its larger tablet lineup, and the belief that recent 5.5-inch iPhone "Plus" models have helped lessen demand for Apple's smallest tablet, but today's report suggests otherwise.
Mac Otakara does not have a perfect track record with Apple rumors, but its sources have proven accurate on multiple occasions in the past. The blog was the first to report about Apple's controversial plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack and add new Black and Jet Black colors on iPhone 7 models.
The website also accurately leaked the iPhone 7's naming scheme, pressure-sensitive Home button, and larger earpiece cutout. It also said the new models would ship with a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, although 3.5mm EarPods proved wrong, and quashed rumors about the inclusion of a Smart Connector.
On the flip side, the timing proved to be wrong on its report claiming new MacBook Air models with USB-C ports would be unveiled by the end of June. The latest word is a MacBook Air refresh will occur "as early as October."