French website gives glimpse of possible Apple super-tablet

Apple updated its tablet range in 2014 with a new iPad Air and iPad Mini. It wasn’t certain that we would see new Apple tablets in 2015, but the recent leaked image would seem to suggest that Apple does have significant plans for its tablet portfolio during the next twelve months. And essential to these plans would seem to be an entirely new device.

iPad Pro Confirmed By New Leaked Image

New Apple niches

It has been predicted for some time that Apple would launch a larger iPad at some point this year, as the company continues to look for new product niches. The slump in Apple’s share price which occurred in the early months of 2014 is certainly well behind the corporation, and it has been fortunate enough recently to achieve the world’s highest ever market capitalization as well as the biggest single quarter profit.

But one year ago, Apple promised the city that it would attempt to create new product ranges in an attempt to generate new revenue streams. And with this in mind, the notion of an iPad Air Plus or the iPad Pro seemed to be a natural one. A 12-inch tablets with ultra-high specifications was expected at some point from Apple during 2015, and it seems that this product is now likely to come to fruition.

French publication Nowhereelse published a leaked image on Thursday of what appears to be a protective case for the bigger tablet. It is evident from the cutouts in this alleged iPad case that this is not intended for the existing iPad Air 2 model, and thus it now seems likely that Apple will produce this long awaited device at some point during 2015.

iPad Pro casing cutouts

Another interesting aspect of the image is that the casing appears to feature speaker cutouts at both its top and bottom. This would seem to suggest that the case will be able to accommodate stereo speakers. This has been a much mooted feature of a forthcoming 12-inch iPad Pro for some time, and this element of the unit very much fits in with this notion.

Aside from the spaces set aside for the speakers, there are additional cutouts for a headphone jack, volume controls, a camera and a lightning port. Additionally, there is a power button cutout on the top right of the device. The way that these cutouts are organized is in-line with previous iPad Air and iPad Mini designs, and would suggest that Apple will not deviate too greatly from the way that previous iterations in the iPad range have been organised when producing this new tablet.

However, there is also seemingly space within the unit for something that is currently unknown. On the left-hand side of the casing there is a cutout which indicates something will be included which is not currently part of the existing iPad portfolio. It is suggested that this could possibly be utilized for a SIM tray, and it is interesting to note that previous design drawings have not suggested another port in that location

It will be intriguing to see how accurate this particular unit turns out to be in the long run. Case makers are known to create molds which are based on latest design specifications and models, and while this can be a reliable way of getting products to market as early as possible, there can also be issues with inaccuracies. Design elements can occasionally be slightly awry, but in general terms case leaks have usually been highly accurate.

Analyst predictions

Given that this is merely an image, it is difficult to ascertain precise details about how accurate it will be in terms of analysts’ expectations of the iPad Pro. This device is currently rumoured to include a display which will be between 12.2 and 12.9-inches, and is also expected to be built around an A9 processor. It is difficult to either confirm or deny the suspicions from this casing, but some physical aspects of this presumed iPad release have become clearer as a result.

In design terms, this unit is clearly extremely similar to both the iPad Air and iPad Mini tablets, featuring a thin body in particular. There has been considerable speculation that Apple could release the first ever 4K tablet went the iPad Pro hits the market, and this rumor was intensified when Apple unveiled the first ever 5K desktop computer recently. The 5K retina iMac has received excellent reviews, and those who have utilized its extremely high resolution screen have praised the incredible image clarity which it delivers.

Another possibility for this device is that it will include a stylus, similar to the S-Pen which ships with the Galaxy Note range. It is early days to find out whether the speculation will be correct, but at least the existence of the iPad Pro would now seem to be a distinct possibility.