9.7 ″ has been the main constant for the iPad since it was first released. This is where the original iPad started, and there has never been a time in the device's nine years plus race when this size was not available. However, if growing rumors are true, things can change quickly.
According to DigiTimes, Apple is preparing to replace the 9.7 ″ iPad that currently occupies the lowest spot in the device lineup with a new 1
The details that most Apple enthusiasts, myself included, find it strange is that the reported size is so close to iPad Air without matching it. It's strange that the screen for one is 10.5 ″ and the other 10.2 ″, especially when Apple usually doesn't miss a trick when it comes to rephrasing design and optimizing production and supply chain. See the aforementioned iPad Air for much proof of that.
When the first reports of an iPad of 10.2 po appeared earlier this year before the release of the new iPad Air and iPad Mini, I dismissed them as probably untrue. The size of the oddball didn't seem to add up, and when the reports faded, I wasn't surprised. Although it still seems strange, the fact that several reports are going to cause a likely fallout of the iPad lineup, I think there's something here. It may be something more than someone getting their hands or eyes up for a prototype, but there is something to this.
As with the iPad Pro redesign rumors last year, if this new device is genuine, this will not be the last of the reports. They will continue to increase in frequency as we get closer to release date. If they are wrong, they will disappear, as they did earlier this year. This doesn't sell papers or quick clicks, but the truth is that we know when we know about a new iPad and what final shape it will take.