MacRumors reports that Apple is going to launch a new iPad next month as well as revamp existing models:
In terms of the iPad Pro lineup, the report claims Apple will announce new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models. The 10.5-inch model may not ship until May, while the other sizes are said to ship in March.
If the report is accurate, it would suggest Apple plans to refresh the iPad mini 4 with a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro model, update its existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and introduce an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is widely rumored to feature an edge-to-edge display without a Home button.
Mac Otakara previously said the 10.9-inch iPad Pro—it now says 10.5-inch—will have the same overall footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro thanks to its edge-to-edge design. The earlier report said the top bezel will remain in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera, but it will likely be slimmer.
The blog also previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, 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.
Apple currently has 5 iPad models listed on its website (let's ignore the 3G/Wifi distinction for the moment). If this story is true then Apple will have seven iPad models at the end of the day - if not more.
And the rumors probably are true; if nothing else this would fit with Apple's past launches.
Apple has chosen to respond to the declining tablet market by launching more and more tablet models. This will prove ineffective in the long run, but in the short run it has kept Apple at the top of this rapidly shrinking market.
So yes, there's a new iPad coming, and if you are thinking about getting a new tablet, you should definitely see what Apple launches next month.
image by Marcin Wichary