Rumors abound that Apple is gearing up to launch a new, larger iPad. Many industry experts believe that the name of this new entry will be iPad Pro.
Now that the tech giant has announced the launch of a new 15-inch MacBook Pro and a new $ 1,999 configuration of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, can a larger iPad be left behind?
Some estimate that Apple will make the iPad announcement as early as June at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Others believe that the launch will arrive this fall, in line with previous iPad debuts, which have been made in a period of October to November of each year since 2012.
Given that the larger version of the MacBook Pro has just been unveiled, it looks like a fall announcement would be more likely.
How will the Pro differ? Connoisseurs believe it will feature a large 12.9-inch touchscreen. This is significantly larger than the 9.7-inch Air2 and 7.9-inch Mini 3, and even many laptop models.
iPad Pro could include several of Apple’s latest features. These include Force Touch, a new trackpad that is pressure sensitive. It responds to how you press the surface. Basically, the feature allows a touch screen to have a “secondary” touch, much like the right mouse button on a desktop device. This is done by lightly tapping the screen instead of pressing it.
Force Touch is included in the updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display and your upcoming 12-inch MacBook. It is also a feature of the new Apple Watch.
Could a pencil also be in Apple’s future? Some think that the Pro will incorporate an iPen Bluetooth stylus with pressure sensitivity. Former CEO Steve Jobs was not a fan of the accessory and executives at the Cupertino, CA headquarters have shied away from him. However, there is no question about the popularity of the stylus with many who use Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
The popularity of Apple Pay and its growing acceptance by retailers should encourage Apple to integrate Tap to Pay functionality online with the newer device. This is made possible by near field communication (NFC) capabilities.
NFC support is found on the iPhone6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch. Apple Pay takes advantage of this technology to turn the device into an electronic cash register. NFC was not included in the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.
The additional plug-in capability could also be a nice feature on a larger device, adding flexibility with more accessories. Since the USB-C port appeared on the new MacBook released this spring, many believe the larger tablet will include it as well. It could replace or be additional to Apple’s Lightning port. The end result would be easier access with keyboard docks and external monitors.
So how much would a larger iPad cost? The price of the device will probably be very high. Think iPad Air2 with an extra $ 100- $ 200. Of course, increasing each tier of storage will result in another $ 100 per unit.
As the selection of Apple products increases, so does the size of the devices.
It leads to speculation that many in the Cupertino Brains Trust actually believe that “bigger is better”.