Production of the 12.9-inch-screen iPad is now scheduled to start around September because of delays involving the supply of display panels, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Apple had initially planned to begin making the larger version this quarter, people familiar with those plans had said.
A new big-screen tablet is part of Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s effort to reinvigorate the iPad product line, where sales have declined for four straight quarters. IPads are also facing competition from larger iPhones, which were introduced in September and helped Apple deliver record profit in the latest quarter.
The WSJ says that the delay is due to ongoing redesign efforts as Apple considers adding USB ports and support for a keyboard and mouse.
I would take that rumor with a grain of salt, but the delay comes as no surprise.
As I have pointed out, there wasn’t enough evidence to convince me that the iPad Pro would ship early this year. I’ve only seen a few credible leaks in the past few months, and that’s just not enough.
Nevertheless, I do think we’ll see a new larger iPad. Apple’s tablet sales have declined for the past 4 quarters, and it’s clear that sales of the current models are trending down. Apple is still estimated to be the biggest tablet maker, but if they want to stay that way (and more importantly, keep their profits up) then they’ll have to release a new iPad model.
In fact, we might even see that tablet at Apple’s launch event next week. It won’t be ready to ship until later this year, obviously, but Apple could decide to launch it months early. That is the approach they adopted with the Apple Watch, after all.
image by rumpleteaser