Apple has a new iPad that has just gone into production, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The next Apple tablet will reportedly will reportedly come in both 9.7-inch (iPad Air) and 7.9-inch (iPad mini) flavors, per the news network’s sources, and will be equipped with a new anti-reflective coating that should make it easier to read in bright light situations.
The new iPads could be revealed as soon as the end of this quarter, or early next, which would be in keeping with the October reveal of new iOS tablets last year. The 9.7-inch model is said to be in production already, while the 7.9-inch model should also ship by the end of this year. The report also says that use of the new coating might restrict output of the bigger tablet, but that’s not surprising – Apple almost always has supply constraints on new model hardware when it first enters the production pipeline.
Apple has faced what amounts to a plateau in its tablet sales in the past few quarters, so new devices could inject some much-needed energy into sales of the iPad. There’s not much else revealed in the report from Bloomberg around specifics, but it’s likely both devices will benefit from improved processors, either the same ones that we’ll see debut in the upcoming iPhone 6 in September, or an upgraded version of the same.
What will be interesting is watching the effect that the new iPhone has on tablet sales – if rumors are true (and there are a number of credible reports around this now) the next iPhone will come in bigger screen sizes, including a 4.7-inch version, and a 5.5-inch model. It’s hardly crossing into iPad territory yet, but if those are indeed the dimensions of new devices, they’ll still be answering an apparent user interest in larger-screened devices, which, given the cooling tablet market, might suggest consumers are looking for one device where they were once happy to have a multitude.