• The new 9.7' iPad Pro is displayed during an Apple special event

The new 9.7' iPad Pro is displayed during an Apple special event (Photo : Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Apple is rumored to release three new iPad Pro models this 2017 and one is tipped as a Microsoft Surface Pro 5 killer with a 10.5-inch display. But with the upcoming refresh moves, the tech giant appears to be tilting towards killing the rest of its tablet line. Will the iPad Air and iPad Mini head to the path of discontinuation?

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Such likelihood was raised as Apple Insider reported that there will be three iPad Pro editions to come out soon. As expected, the sequels to the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models will be part of the unboxing, and the third addition will be an iOS slate that sports a 10.5-inch screen.

The case for the latter, according to Cult of Mac, was established by Dan Provost of Studio Neat. The argument states that an iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch display will have the same height as that of the iPad Mini. So essentially when the same iPad Pro is in landscape mode, the device functions as two iPad Minis siting side by side.

That's like saying there will be no need for the smallest of the iPads to be upgraded in the future.

"This new 10.5″ iPad would have the exact same resolution as the 12.9″ iPad Pro (2732 x 2048), but the same pixel density of the iPad mini (326 ppi instead of 264 ppi)," Provost further said in supporting the design of the supposed third iPad Pro, the addition of which seems to support the plan by Apple to focus on the iPad Pro direction.

And the mid-sized iPad Pro is seen to get the same display resolution as that of the 12.9-inch variant but nearly the build of the 9.7-inch, thus making a 10.5-inch a compelling buy specifically for professional users on the go, Cult of Mac added on its report.

Needless to say, all the elements being packed into the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will make it the mobile productive tool that Apple hopes will stop the Surface Pro 2-in-1 on its growth track. Speculations are rife that Microsoft will introduce the latest addition to the line, the Surface Pro 5, via the MWC 2017 that kicks off in February. And rollout time of the SP5 will happen anytime in March.

At around the same month, Apple will supposedly stage an event to reveal three new iPad Pro models that will boast of 3D Touch-laced screen (with the possibility of all-screen display and no Home button) and powered by A10X processing chip. And there will be no iPad Air and iPad Mini release date to expect afterwards.