Several new iPad models have been spotted being tested in and around Cupertino, according to the mobile marketing company Fiksu – potentially confirming Earlier rumors of a planned iPad refresh arrive this spring. According to reports, an investor note leaked by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that Apple should update its 12.9-inch iPad Pro model, as well as introduce a new 10-inch model or 10.5 inches with a narrower bezel along with a budget option of 9.7 inches.
According to Kuo, the two larger models will sport an A10X chip – a version of the A10 chip found in the iPhone 7 – while the low-cost device will use the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s. The A10X will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and the A9 by Samsung, he also said. Apple’s iPad mini is not mentioned in its rating.
Rumors this week, point to a possible iPad event in April.
Raw data from Fiksu shows four different iPad models, but that doesn’t necessarily mean four new devices will arrive. The company claims to have seen the same number of devices tested before the release of the last two iPad Pros, which means that we could potentially see two to four new iPads hitting the market soon, it estimates.
The data comes from Fiksu’s Tracking and Attribution SDK, which is used by thousands of mobile apps today. As part of Apple’s testing process, it installs a variety of apps – from the most popular to the more obscure – which inevitably ends up including some apps that contain Fiksu tracking.
Each type of iOS device has a model name, explains Fiksu. These are generally sequential, specifies the firm. About a month before the most recent iPad Pro launches, the internal model names “6.3 / 6.4” and “6.7 / 6.8” were tested around Cupertino. This time he sees “7.1”, “7.2”, “7.3” and “7.4”.
There are only a handful of these devices that appear in his logs, Fiksu discovered. (See table below)
Device | To count
iPad 7.3 | 5
iPad 7.4 | ten
iPad 7.2 | 11
iPad 7.1 | 17
All use is from the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including Cupertino and surrounding communities. The use was evenly spread across a range of generally popular applications, such as games, music, real estate, and weather applications. Another hint that it could be the new iPads is the fact that they all use a mix of the latest iOS beta (iOS 10.3) and the all-new iOS 11.
Testing began in September, but it was only recently that the number of devices reached a point where Fiksu has become confident that a release date is imminent.
The launch of new iPads is important to Apple, given the current decline in iPad sales year over year. As Recode noted in January, Apple sold 13.3 million iPads, according to its recent quarterly earnings report, generating $ 5.5 billion in revenue. This represented an approximately 19% drop in units sold and a 22% drop in revenue from the previous year.
As Fiksu explains, part of the problem is that people don’t upgrade their iPads as often as they upgrade their iPhones. In fact, the first four generations of full-size iPads and the original iPad mini, all released between 2010 and 2012, still represent more than 45 percent use the iPad, show its trackers.
With the release of new models, Apple could encourage users to ditch their old devices for those with newer technology or new features. Kuo’s previous note on devices suggested the budget model could move more units – potentially between 50 and 60 percent of sales, he said.
Of course, until Apple makes a formal announcement, nothing is certain.