New iPads are coming, claims report, but "revolutionary" new iPads won't come until 2018

A report claims that Apple is planning on both upgrading its existing iPad lineup, and adding a new size into the mix. However, if you're holding your breath for a "revolutionary" iPad, you could be waiting while.

While you've only got a few weeks left to wait for a new iPhone, you're going to have to wait until next year for new iPads to appear, claims one analyst.

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According to a note sent out to clients that was obtained by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is forecasting that three new iPads, ranging from 9.7 inches to 12.9 inches, will be unveiled in 2017.

"We expect three new iPads (12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5-inch iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7-inch iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017F shipments to fall 10-20% YoY. If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5-inch model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5" iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7-inch model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC."

It's interesting that Kuo makes no mention here of what might happen to the iPad mini. Is it being discontinued because of lack of interest, or does Apple feel there's too much cross-over with the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus and the 7.9-inch iPad mini? If the latter is the case, it doesn't explain the crowded 9.7-inch/10.5-inch/12.9-inch iPad line up.

But if you're holding out for "revolutionary" new iPads, that will have to wait until 2018 according to Kuo.

"Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel. We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments."

It's worth pointing out that OLED displays aren't really all that revolutionary, and may well not be far from mainstream come 2018 (especially if the 2017 iPhone refresh centers around an OLED display).

Despite this iPad refresh, Kuo expects iPad sales to fall pretty much in line with tablet sales, and because there was no 2016 iPad refresh, he has revised sales down from 45-50 million to 35-40 million.

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