Apple’s manufacturing partners are reportedly stepping up production of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 500,000 units a month to 600,000 units by July, and should ultimately churn out 5 million to 6 million units for the whole of 2017.
Mass production of the tablet started around March or April, DigiTimes reported on Friday. The 5 million to 6 million target is consistent with a recent estimate by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also claimed that Apple is likely to debut the product at its WWDC 2017 keynote on June 5.
Production schedules for a refreshed 12.9-inch iPad Pro are less clear, but “market watchers” cited by Friday’s report anticipate mass production starting in June —which could mean that if Apple announces the product on June 5, it might only ship weeks later in limited quantities. “Stable” shipments will probably happen in the September quarter, the people said.
Demand for the 9.7-inch “budget” iPad is expected pick up at the end of the June quarter and peak in the third quarter. The product’s success will likely accelerate Apple’s move towards phasing out the iPad mini 4, additional DigiTimes sources commented. The company is thought to be ending the iPad mini line due to shrinking sales.
Features of the new 10.5- and 12.9-inch Pros are largely unknown, although they should include faster processors, a revised Apple Pencil, and/or slimmer bezels, possibly limited to the 10.5-inch model.