With all the new announcements expected at MWC, it's easy to forget that there are companies that often forgo the big conferences in favour of their own flashy launch events. Apple is the king of that, so when you hear the rumour about Apple has some new iPads ready for release next month don't go expecting a surprise announcement in Barcelona.
This particular rumour comes from French site Consomac, which noticed Eurasian Economic Commission filings for two brand new Apple tablets. Those filing are necessary regulatory hurdles if any company wants to sell a product within the region, and it just so happens to give us a little glimpse at what is on the way in the near future.
The devices aren't named as iPads, but rather the product numbers A1954 and A1893. They're also confirmed to be tablets running iOS 11, which sounds an awful lot like an iPad to me. As 9to5Mac points out, the fact the relevant papers have been field with the regulator means we'll likely be seeing these devices fairly soon. In the past similar filings were noticed for the iPhone 7, Airpods, and new Macbooks, all of which ended up being announced a few weeks later.
This also means that the filings probably don't refer to the eagerly-anticipated bezel-free FaceID-centric iPads that have been rumoured for a while. Word is those devices are due in the second half of this year, so whatever Apple has planned for next month is probably something else entirely. Instead Apple probably has a regular boring refresh that upgrades the internal specs and not much else - much like it did last March, provided you ignore the 9.7-inch iPad Pro was launched around then.
It also doesn't mean Apple will have a flashy press conference ready, particularly since basic iPad refreshes have previously been announced with a press release and an update to the Apple store. All the pomp and circumstance is reserved for something new and somewhat-interesting, like adding FaceID or a bezel-free screen.
So if you are in the market for an iPad, for whatever reason, hold off for a few weeks and see what Apple throws out into the world. Even if the new model isn't for you, it means you might be able to get some money off the 2017 model. [Consomac via 9to5Mac]