The rumor mill has been abuzz with the iPad Pro rumors for about two years, but the tablet is yet to make its debut. IHS Technology analyst Rhoda Alexander has learned that Apple has been testing many larger display panels for the iPad Pro. But most rumors point to a 12.9-inch display. According to WCCFtech, iPad Pro is expected to feature Apple’s A8x processor.
iPad Pro expected to cost $699
The website adds that the iPad Pro will be slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2 because of its larger form factor. Reports suggest that it will be 7mm thick compared to 6.1mm for the iPad Air 2. Little is known about Apple’s jumbo iPad. It is believed to feature a stylus, a new fast-charging technology and USB expansion ports. Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note last week that the iPad Pro would feature Apple’s Force Touch technology that first appeared in the Apple Watch.
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As for pricing, the device is expected to cost more than the iPad Air 2. The success of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 has proved that there is a demand for bigger laptop-tablet hybrid, mostly from business users. The iPad Air 2 retails for $499 for the base model. Christian Today says that the iPad Pro pricing will begin at $699. It is expected to be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage variants.
iPad Pro marred by display production issues
The iPad Pro launch has been delayed due to production issues. In November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the device was unlikely to arrive in the first quarter of 2015. Last month, supply chain sources told Bloomberg that display-related supply issues forced Apple to push back production of the iPad Pro. The tablet is expected to feature Sharp’s IGZO display technology.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will launch the iPad Pro along with the refreshed iPad Mini in the second half of 2015. It means Apple’s new tablet will hit the stores around the same time Microsoft is expected to release the successor to its Surface Pro 3. The new Surface Pro 4 will have a similar screen size as the iPad Pro, setting the stage for a fierce battle.