New 10.5-inch iPad may debut alongside Siri Speaker at WWDC

Apple’s developer conference kicks off June 5 and could include not just one but two new devices.

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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is typically a parade of software announcements, not hardware. While we’re expecting iOS 11 and the next version of macOS to take center stage, rumor has it Apple plans to switch it up and announce two new devices: the Siri Speaker and a refreshed iPad Pro.

Apple hasn’t said anything about either product, but rumors and speculation from well-placed sources have all but confirmed the Siri Speaker, Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo. And while we’ve been hearing about a redesigned iPad for months now, the 2017 iPad released earlier this spring didn’t exactly push the iPad lineup forward (but that $329 price tag is pretty sweet).

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to unveil a 10.5-inch iPad Pro at WWDC’s opening keynote on June 5, he said in a research note obtained by 9to5Mac. Macworld will be there to cover the announcement, but here are Kuo’s predictions:

The new iPad model will be join the existing lineup of 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch Pros, but it won’t look like its siblings. Instead, the redesigned Pro will sport a large display and smaller bezels. This would be an interesting move, given that Apple is rumored to be moving toward that same look with the 10th anniversary iPhone this fall.

KGI also predicts that that Apple will ship 6 million 10.5-inch iPad Pros this year. Kuo is betting there’s a 70 percent chance that the 10.5-inch model will be announced at WWDC, pegging it even higher than the 50 percent shot of a Siri Speaker launch.

Why this matters: We’d love to get an early glimpse of Apple’s new design direction rather than wait until the iPhone 8, although we’re gonna need to see some software improvements in iOS 11 to convince us that a new iPad Pro is worth the money. A few iPad-exclusive features—perhaps enabled by the newly acquired iOS app Workflow—would go a long way toward convincing us that an iPad Pro is essential.

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