For almost two years, there have been rumors that Apple is working on a giant 12.9-inch iPad Pro. On various occasions, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the launch of the device was repeatedly delayed due to display production issues. If rumors are to be believed, the iPad Pro could hit the stores by the end of this year.
Apple’s tablet sales to decline 20% in 2015
Apple’s iPad sales have been declining spectacularly for the last five consecutive quarters. The launch of 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus has further cannibalized iPad sales. And if Apple’s supply chain is to be believed, the trend is likely to continue. The iPad Pro is unlikely to revive Apple’s tablet sales and take it into growth trajectory. The Cupertino company sold 12.62 million iPads in March quarter, down 23% YoY.
Supply chain sources told Taiwan-based DigiTimes that suppliers expect Apple’s tablet shipments to decline 20% this year, even as the company is expected to launch an iPad Pro and a “revised” iPad Mini 4. Many component suppliers are already witnessing a sequential drop in shipments. For instance, LCD supplier Radiant Optoelectronics’ revenue plunged 37% in the first quarter of 2015. Touch panel maker TPK reported a whopping 67% decline in its tablet business during March quarter.
iPad Pro dimensions revealed
Last week, Steve Hemmerstoffer, editor of the French website NoWhereElse.fr leaked the dimensions of the iPad Pro. The device will measure 223 x 306 x 7.2mm and will have a screen-to-body ratio of 75.7%. On Monday, Apple Insider learned from an inside source that the iPad Pro is indeed in the works. However, the source did not reveal the timeframe for its release.
The iPad Pro will feature an NFC radio and support for Force Touch input. Sources told Apple Insider that the device will also come with an all-new Bluetooth stylus with pressure sensitivity. Force Touch will allow the screen to sense pressure from fingertips. The iPad Pro also reportedly have a USB-C connector.