Notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities says that Apple is experimenting and will be launching new iPads in Q2.
The new models will come in 12.9”, 10-10.5” and 9.7” versions. We note the 12.9” model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9” iPad Pro, the 10-10.5” model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7” model will be the low-priced option. The former two models will have an A10X chip manufactured by TSMC (2330 TT, NT$183.5, N), while the latter comes with an A9 chip made by Samsung LSI. Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10% from 2016’s roughly 20%, given that the 10-10.5” model may see more demand from commercial/ enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7” model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60% of total shipments of new iPads.
Kuo believes that the higher ASP will make up for lost year-over-year growth for the iPad.
Worst has passed for Apple’s iPad. This is due to: (1) the YoY shipment decline will narrow in 2017F versus 2016; (2) a better ASP thanks to improved product mix on decreasing exposure to iPad mini will likely offset the shipment decline; and (3) an improved cost structure due to an increasing number of suppliers of touch-module lamination and DDI.
It’s been widely rumored that new iPads are coming with a new replacement for the 9.7-inch model. We’ve heard everything from 10 to 10.5 inches in terms of screen real estate.