There was once a time when Apple’s tablet business seemed like it would become one of the company’s biggest sources of revenue. Back in 2012, market research firm IDC predicted that tablet shipments around the globe would likely grow by 174.5 percent by 2017 from its levels that year. Such a prediction, unfortunately, didn’t come to pass, and in a report published last February, IDC noted that worldwide tablet shipments for 2017 came in at only 163.5 million units, down 6.5 percent from 2016.
Apple’s iPad series has been affected by this industry-wide trend. In Apple’s fiscal year 2013, the company reported unit shipments and revenue of 71 million units and $31.989 billion. In the company’s fiscal year 2017, iPad shipments were 43.75 million, and revenue was at $19.22 billion, respectively. Despite this decline, this does not mean to say that Apple’s tablet business is becoming irrelevant. Far from it, as the company’s tablet business still comprises about 8.4 percent of its fiscal-year 2017 revenue, according to the Motley Fool.
With this in mind, Apple’s iPad Pro series for 2018 would likely be fitted with notable upgrades to make them compelling purchases for users fond of the large-screened devices. The last iPad Pro update happened last year, and the devices were fitted with the A10X Fusion, an upgraded variant of the A10 Fusion found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that launched in September, 2016. Later in 2017, Apple launched the iPhone X, which was equipped with the A11 Bionic chip. Apple didn’t unveil an iPad Pro refresh earlier this year, and this September, the Cupertino-based tech giant took the wraps off the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, all of which are fitted with the A12 Bionic Chip.
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) September 18, 2018
Considering Apple’s tendency to use upgraded chips to power its flagship tablets, signs initially seemed to be pointing to the iPad Pro 2018 being equipped with the A11X Bionic, an upgraded variant of the chip used in the iPhone X. Since the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR have already been released, however, Apple might opt to adopt a different strategy this time around. A notable leaker who goes by the alias “Longhorn” has reportedly even leaked the internal name of the iPad Pro 2018’s processor — T8027. With this in mind, there is a pretty good chance that Apple might forego the A11X Bionic chip entirely for the iPad Pro 2018, equipping the device with the A12X Bionic instead.
If Apple chooses to adopt this strategy, there is very little doubt that the 2018 iPad Pro series would be the company’s most formidable set of tablets yet.