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iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4 To Launch In Q4; iPad Air 3 Delayed Until 2016

Apple’s much-rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro and next-generation iPad Mini 4 will arrive in the fourth quarter this year. Citing Fubon Bank analyst Liaoxian Yi, Taiwan-based Economic Daily News reports that Apple has decided to delay the iPad Air 3 launch until 2016 to focus on the iPad Pro. Note that the publication has a hit-or-miss track record in predicting Apple product launches.

Apple doesn’t want to distract its suppliers from the iPad Pro

The report claims that iPad Mini 4 will be the last generation of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet. It makes sense considering the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus could cannibalize the sales of Apple’s small tablets. As for the iPad Pro, the Taiwanese publication says Apple has turned to its reliable suppliers for components. However, Sharp has received a bigger order for LCD panels than Samsung.

The Cupertino-based tech giant delayed the iPad Air 3 until 2016 to avoid putting a lot of pressure on its manufacturing partner Foxconn. The report said both the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4 would be assembled exclusively by Foxconn.

Apple expecting a lukewarm response to the iPad Pro?

Another Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported earlier this week that Apple was “rather cautious” in placing component orders for the iPad Pro. It indicates that the company isn’t expecting a lot from its jumbo iPad that is expected to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops (or Macs). Inside sources told DigiTimes that mass production of the iPad Pro will begin in September, and the tablet will hit the store shelves in mid-November. Apple usually refreshes its iPad models in the first week of November.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is expected to feature a pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, NFC capabilities, Force Touch technology, A9 processor, 2GB RAM and a USB Type-C port. App developers discovered within the iOS 9 code last month that the iPad Pro will have a display resolution of 2,732-by-2,048 pixels. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith reported that the iOS 9 beta had a keyboard capable of scaling to a larger tablet size by adding an extra row of symbols at bigger screen resolutions. The tablet will target power users, challenging Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.