10.5-Inch iPad Pro Entering Limited Production, But Spring, WWDC, or Fall Launch Remains Unclear

Apple's manufacturing partners will begin limited production of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro this month, according to IHS Markit analyst Rhoda Alexander, who spoke with Forbes over the weekend.

ipad pro video grab
At this point, however, it remains unclear whether the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be announced later this spring, at WWDC 2017 in June, or in the fall or later, as rumors are lacking consensus.

Japanese blog Mac Otakara previously said Apple would unveil its new iPad Pro lineup at a March event, but that rumor failed to materialize. Instead, Apple last week announced a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, 128GB iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands, and a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus through its Newsroom.

The latest rumor from DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration" of its new Apple Park campus, which opens to employees next month. While this timeline could be correct, it's unlikely Apple would have shared such specific plans with the supply chain.

Alexander believes an April launch "still looks somewhat tentative," but she said "the necessary elements are starting to come together," so it's possible Apple could do a limited spring launch in the United States and select other countries, followed by a wider rollout as production ramps up.

A person with sources within Apple's supply chain told MacRumors that they still expect the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to launch in the spring. The person requested full confidentiality due to the nature of their position.

It looks like Apple is doing the releases in a staggered fashion. I still expect a 10-inch-range iPad sometime in the spring. The supply chain is pretty clear that it is coming, maybe as soon as April.

A handful of Apple analysts that we spoke to reiterated that a fall launch is more likely, however, and if volume production has yet to begin, then a launch later this year rather than sooner is certainly a possibility.

Apple pundit John Gruber made a good point last week about why it would make sense for Apple to wait until at least October to announce the 10.5-inch iPad Pro: to avoid spoiling the design of the much-rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display, which is expected to be announced in September.

I think the most likely explanation is that Apple is working on a new edge-to-edge design iPad with a 10.5-inch display, but that it’s a 2018 thing, not a 2017 thing. Or, at the very earliest, a late 2017 thing — something they could unveil in October. […]

Among all the other aforementioned things that don’t make sense regarding the rumor that a 10.5-inch iPad is imminent is the idea that the new design language would debut on an iPad, not an iPhone.

But just how much of a spoiler the 10.5-inch iPad Pro might be remains to be seen, as rumors are conflicting about whether the tablet will have an edge-to-edge display or simply a narrow bezel design. It is also uncertain if Apple will remove the Home button on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in line with the "iPhone 8."

Back in August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would launch a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in "2017," and he generally shares accurate information, so there is a good chance the tablets are coming at some point this year. He also predicted the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

Just a few weeks ago, mobile marketing firm Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data. As it turns out, these model identifiers are not for the new 9.7-inch iPad, suggesting that they could be for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would suggest a release by the end of April.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: 11" iPad Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Return Zero Avatar
50 months ago
Prediction: everyone has gotten it all wrong. The new 10.5" device is the new flagship iPhone, the iPhone X XL Plus. It costs $1299 but ships with free AirPods so you don't have to try to hold the thing up to your ear.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
slimothy Avatar
50 months ago
It's going to be the same footprint of a 9.7" iPad, but the screen will take up the whole front of the device, much like the iPhone 8. It will not launch until the iPhone 8 does.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Azygos85 Avatar
50 months ago
I'd trust Ming-Chi Kuo. If he says a new 10.5" iPad pro is coming this year, it's coming this year.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
50 months ago
Oh come on already, Apple. Take my money.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rudychidiac Avatar
50 months ago
I want an updated 12.9, come on apple :'(
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumastudetto Avatar
50 months ago
I'm ready to order now. Let's start the pre-orders at least, I want to jump in at the front of the line.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...