iPad Pro 2: Quiet May 2017 Launch For Refreshed Variants Tipped After 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Stocks Slump

The recently released 2017 iPad might not be the slate that avid Apple fans have been waiting for, but it appears that the iPad Pro 2, the Cupertino-based tech giant's flagship tablet this year, is finally about to make its appearance. With stocks of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro dwindling even among high-volume stores, speculations are high that the iPad Pro 2 series might conclusively be unveiled sometime around May 2017.

A recent Apple Insider report has stated that spot-checks of 20 Apple Retail stores have shown a significant decrease in the stocks of the popular 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with a staff member from one of the distributors stating that it had "been a while" since the device's stocks have been replenished. Apart from this, the 32GB Wi-Fi only model of the 12.9-inch tablet, one of the most popular iterations of the device, has been out of stock for "a few weeks now."

Even in Apple's online store, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has also shown a notable lack of stocks. Upon checkout, buyers who have attempted to purchase the device are informed by the official Apple website that the delivery time for the professional-grade slate is set at two to three weeks. While the lack of 12.9-inch iPad Pro stocks in both physical and online stores could simply correspond to Apple's inability to meet the market's demand, an expected May 16 refresh for Apple's products appears to herald the arrival of the highly-anticipated iPad Pro 2.

The iPad Pro 2 has been making its rounds in the rumor mill for some time now. Since 2016, speculations have been abounding that Apple would be releasing powerful follow-up devices for its most formidable tablet series. Rumors about the iPad Pro 2's release date are abounding, with initial speculations pointing to a late 2016 launch, according to a Trusted Reviews report. After 2016 passed without an iPad Pro 2 reveal, rumors then led to a possible March 2017 debut for Apple's enterprise-grade slates. While the Cupertino-based tech giant did announce a tablet last month, the device was simply the 2017 iPad, an entry-level device that is at least two steps behind the current iteration of the iPad Pro series.

With an expected May 16 refresh across the board, however, Apple's enterprise-grade slates might finally reach the market. Instead of a massive iPhone-esque launch, however, speculations are high that the May 16 iPad Pro 2 debut would be a quiet event that would herald the arrival of updated variants of the current iPad Pro series. Thus, while iPad Pro 2 devices might indeed be revealed this coming May 16, they might simply be refreshed versions of the existing 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, save for updated internals and upgraded storage.

As for the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2, rumors are high that Apple might be saving the device's launch for sometime later this year, due to the flagship slate's revamped design, possible embedded Home Button, and integrated TouchID sensor. Interestingly, persistent rumors have emerged stating that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 would carry much of the design cues from the upcoming iPhone 8. Thus, there is a good chance that Apple might very well release the two flagship devices in one event, which is expected to be held sometime in September 2017.

The iPad Pro 2 series is expected to be comprised of three models, two of which are refreshed iterations of Apple's existing professional-grade slates, and one which is an entirely new device. Considering that Apple has been taking a far more subtle route with its refreshes, there is a good chance that the 12.9-inch and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2 might see a May 16 debut. The revolutionary 10.5-inch model, on the other hand, might see a launch alongside the Cupertino-based tech giant's most high-profile device of 2017, the iPhone 8.

[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]