The hot Apple rumor du jour is that we will be getting a brand new 11″ iPad Pro alongside a refreshed 12.9″ version at WWDC. iPad Pro rumors are nothing new right now, as we have been hearing reports of new Pros with Face ID, no Home Buttons, and much slimmer bezels since late last year. However, today’s report from the Taiwan-based Economic Daily News adds a new twist in predicting that the current 10.5″ model will jump up to a larger 11″ screen.
This could turn out to be true. By slimming the devices bezels and removing the Home Button, Apple may plan to use some of that extra space to enlarge the screen a bit. However. I have my doubts.
First off, we have the fact that the 10.5″ version is less than a year old, and also seems to be pretty popular. Even the ill-fated 9.7″ iPad Pro lasted 15 months, and it was based on the longtime standard full-size iPad screen size, so an abrupt change didn’t seem that odd. Changing the 10.5″ only a year in would, in my opinion.
Secondly, Apple’s typical trend when given the chance to redesign a device is to make it slimmer and lighter. Growing the screen, rather than cutting overall device size and keeping the same screen size, goes against that pattern. Such a device would retain size and weight that could easily be cut. Also bear in mind that the bigger the screen, the more stress on the battery. With the size of the case shrinking and possibly affecting the size of the iPad’s battery, every millimeter counts.
Third, you have the fact that a new 11″ size would bring that model awfully close to the existing 12.9″ form factor. There is no mention of any upward movement for that model, which is no big surprise. The current 10.5″ and 12.9″ sizes seem like a good and logical fit to me. The progression from 9.7″ iPad to 10.5″ Pro to 12.9″ Pro is quite reasonable, and customers have largely agrees. Why mess with it one year in?
My biggest reason for skepticism is that this rumor is based on a loose translation of a website written in Chinese. The exact wording of the translation is “It is reported that this year Apple is expected to launch the new iPad Pro is about 11 inches…”. “About 11 inches” does not equal 11 inches. “About 11 inches” could very well mean 10.5, or very close to it. In other words, this report isn’t enough to hang any real expectations on.
If more reports from reliable sources, such as Mark Gurman or Ming-Chi Kuo come forward and back this rumor up, then we may have something. If not, then just continue to expect would we’ve been counting on for a few months now- Face ID, no Home Button, and smaller bezels.