Apple iPad Pro 9.7in
Buyers waiting for Apple's expected refresh of the iPad Pro family may have to wait a little longer IBTimes UK

Apple's long-awaited refresh of the iPad Pro range could hit shelves later than expected, according to a new report. Initial rumours pointed to a trio of Pro tablets destined for a public launch at an event in March, ahead of a Q1 2017 release.

However, according to a report citing unnamed sources within the iPad supply chain network, the iOS devices are likely to arrive between May and June instead. The potential delay is also expected to affect revenue streams for iPad touchscreen suppliers TPK Holding and Foxconn subsidiary General Interface Solution.

Talk of an update to the iPad Pro family kicked off in November 2016 after an analyst report claimed that Apple is preparing to launch follow-ups to the existing 12.9in and 9.7in variants, alongside a brand new 10.5in model featuring a "bezel-less" design.

But while the latter model was always likely to ship in the summer, according to Mac Otakara, upgrades to the existing iPad Pro line had been expected to retail at the end of March. However, the new report suggests otherwise.

"Vendors have hoped that at least one of the two large-size tablets, 10.5-inch iPad or the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, will be released in the first quarter of 2017 along with the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad," a supply chain source told DigiTimes, instead suggesting that a May-June release date is now more likely.

It is unclear why there may have been a delay, but with the existing models going out of stock on Apple's online store with increased frequency, it is safe to expect updates to arrive sooner rather than later.

Interestingly, a June release would coincide with Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC. Updates to MacOS, watchOS and tvOS are all expected at the event, as well as a first look at iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad.