Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally seen its iPad sales take a turn for the positive in the past year, after 13 consecutive quarterly declines. The iPad is now helping APPL stock growth instead of being a drag. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that the company would want to prime the pump with new iPads, to keep those sales coming.
A regulatory filing by the company was just discovered, and it describes two new Apple tablets running iOS 11. Based on the timing of the filing, expect to see new iPads in March.
However, it is very unlikely that these will be the iPad Pros with Face ID that we’ve been expecting…
Apple Registers Two New iPads
French website Consomac originally uncovered a filing by Apple, which was quickly picked up by numerous Apple rumor tracking sites, including 9to5 Mac.
Consomac discovered that Apple has registered several new devices with the Eurasian Commission (a necessary step if it wants to sell devices that encrypt data in countries like Russia). Among those devices were two described as “Apple tablets running iOS 11.” In addition, their model numbers do not match any existing Apple devices.
That’s a pretty conclusive indicator that two new iPads are on their way.
However, there are two big questions remaining. Which iPads are these? And when will they arrive?
What and When?
The timing of the new Apple iPads arrival is relatively easy to guess. The company has registered many of its new products with the Eurasian Commission in the past, and a release follows soon after. That makes sense — Apple wouldn’t want to tip its hand about a new product, then wait months to launch it. Based on the registration of the new iPads, a March launch seems likely.
Further supporting the March timeframe is that Apple launched its current 9.7-inch iPad last March. And the company often tries for a yearly upgrade cycle on successful products.
That brings us to the ‘what’ part of the equation. And that’s a bit dicier…
A replacement for the current, consumer-level 9.7-inch iPad seems a given. We’ve heard a lot about a new Apple iPad Pro that will adopt the Face ID facial recognition from the iPhone X, but it seems too early for that. The new iPad Pros are likely to arrive in the second half of the year.
So what is the second new Apple iPad?
9to5 Mac speculates it may just be the cellular version of the 9.7-inch iPad. However, the iPad Mini has gone years without a refresh.
And there was a rumor circulating earlier this year that the company was planning an even cheaper 9.7-inch Apple iPad, priced at $259 (the current version starts at $329). The idea there was that a cheaper iPad would help to boost iPad sales even further, and possibly cut into sales of budget competitors like Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire tablet. The rumors had this new, low-priced iPad arriving in Q2 2018, so that would also fit with a March release.
As usual, Apple is remaining quiet on the speculation.
The Bottom Line for Apple’s New iPads
Pressure is on the company to keep up the iPad Sales growth.
With iPhone sales down and the HomePod off to a bit of a rocky start, increased iPad sales will be important to AAPL stock growth in 2018.
And while the iPad Pro is helping to raise average sales price (ASP) and getting the iPad into more businesses, the company would love it if the millions of people still holding on to old tablets upgraded to a new Apple iPad in 2018.
All signs point to March being the start of Apple’s latest campaign to get new iPads into the hands of consumers.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.