Notch another checkmark in the ‘yes’ column for the much-rumored iPad Pro. DigiTimes, a Taiwanese publication, is reporting sources have told it the super-sized iPad will go sale in mid-November. Foxconn will handle the manufacturing of the device, which is expected to be announced in October.
October is Apple’s traditional month for announcing new iPad lineups. iOS 9 is slated to land this fall, and code within the developer’s beta is pointing to larger-screen iPad. Current rumors have the screen size of the iPad Pro (please not Plus) at 12.9 inches.
Screen resolution rumors are for 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. It will work out to a pixel density of 264 ppi. Powering the iPad will be an A9 processor and 2GB of RAM. Storage choices aren’t known yet, but should be a bump over current generation iPads.
Other rumored features include a Bluetooth stylus, a pressure sensitive touchscreen, NFC functionality and a USB-C port. All rumors, but let’s hope the USB port is accurate. Extending the tablet through USB has been one area Apple iPads have severely lagged the competition.
Apple Playing it Safe With iPad Pro?
Included in the shipping date rumor, DigiTimes also reported Apple is placing lower orders than expected for the iPad Pro. The publication suggests the order volume is lower than what many analysts are expecting. Declining tablet sales is cited as a possible reason for Apple ordering fewer units.
Tablet sales have fallen off a cliff in recent years. Smartphone screens have increased in size, which cannibalized the tablet sales of not only Apple. When your smartphone screen is over 5 inches and full-HD, convincing customers they need a tablet is a hard sell.
The iPad Pro is designed to reverse that trend. Its target is power users attracted to the Microsoft Surface 3. Yeah, Apple is playing catch up with quite a few companies these days. Spotify for music streaming, etc.
If the rumors hold on the specs and release date, one has to wonder where the Macbook Air fits with Apple. Macbook and Macbook Pros will offer the power for users that need more. The iPad Pro offers power users not needing a full system the screen real estate to get work done.
That leaves the Air twisting in the wind. If the iPhone 6 Plus cannibalized iPad Mini sales, it’s not a stretch to see the Pro doing the same to the Macbook Air lineup.
Personally, I’m intrigued by the screen size. Will it replace my laptop or desktop? Not at all. But, I’m in the market for a new tablet. Battery, weight and complete specs will be critical for not only me but the enterprise customers Apple is targeting.