Rumors of Multiple 'New' iPads Conflict Too Much to Be True

NEWS ANALYSIS: There are a lot of rumors circulating on the Web about imminent arrival of new iPad models, but chances are they can't all be true. At least a few of the rumored models will materialize.

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There was a time when it wasn't totally clear that there would even be a new iPad since Apple has been struggled with falling sales and heavy competition from Microsoft and others makers of hybrid notebook-table PCs.

Now that's all changed with so many iPad rumors circulating on the Web it looks as though some kind of psychological warfare is going on just to keep us all talking about Apple and only Apple.

Depending on who you believe, there may be as many as four new iPads Pro showing up at an announcement in late March. There's also a rumor that a new red iPhone 7 may be announced, and a new version of the iPhone SE. But let's face it, four new iPads all at one time seems excessive, not to mention unlikely.

So first I will tell you what the rumors are and then say what I think is really going to happen. There's talk that Apple will release a 7.9-inch version of the iPad Pro, which would replace the iPad Mini 4.

Then there's an improved version of the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro with improved camera and screen along with the A10X processor. There's also a new 10.5 or 10.9-inch iPad Pro that would have the same chassis size as the 9.7-inch iPad, but with an edge-to-edge screen and no home button. Finally there's a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

If the rumors prove accurate, each of these iPads will have a True Tone display and 12 megapixel rear cameras. They would also have four speakers and microphones. But are these all really new iPads?

For example, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will apparently see some component upgrades, such as a True Color screen and flash along with a better camera. But even with the faster processor, it will be relatively unchanged. There will apparently be an improved keyboard and pencil available at the same time.

The new 7.9-inch version of the iPad Pro will be something that's actually new. While it will be the same size as the iPad Mini, it won't be the same device. It'll have the same general specifications as the larger iPad Pro, just in a smaller package.

The 9.7-inch version of the iPad Pro looks to be in the same situation as the larger iPad Pro, meaning that it's getting some upgrades a year after it was announced, but it's not really a new iPad. In fact, the upgrades coming to the larger iPad Pro are features that are already in place with the 9.7-inch version. So at best the 9.7-inch version is a refresh, not a new iPad.

Finally, there's the new 10.5-inch iPad. Or is it the 10.9 inch version? Either way, it's supposed to be the same size overall as the existing 9.7-inch iPad, but it will have an edge to edge screen with a bezel only on the top.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...