Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has been slinging out the Apple rumors at a rapid pace on Wednesday. "Trusted sources" told Gurman that the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro and iPad mini 4 will both make their official debuts at Apple's scheduled September 9th media event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA.
Parts for Apple's rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro will begin shipping in September, according to a J.P. Morgan investor memo obtained by Apple Insider. The shipments will result in "production of about 1 million units per month this year," and will include a "glass-film-film" (GFF) touch panel structure instead of the glass-film (GF) panels found on the iPad Air and mini. Sharp and GIS will be handling the bulk of iPad Pro display orders from Apple.
Based on various reports, and a lack of leaks, it does not look promising that Apple will release a third-generation iPad Air this year. It may be hard to believe that the company will forego its flagship 9-inch iPad in favor of a larger 12-inch model, but that's where all signs are pointing. The rumor mill and some analysts believe that Apple will only release a revamped iPad mini 4 and 12-inch iPad Pro in 2015 due to slumping tablet sales.
It is no secret that worldwide tablet sales are on a slide and that the iPad is not immune. Apple recently announced a 17.9% year-over-year decline in iPad sales and CEO Tim Cook has had to defend the tablet twice after seperate earning calls. This doesn't mean the iPad is selling poorly, Apple still sold 10.9 million units in Q2 of 2015, but it does show that interest in tablets overall has slown down.
A device named “iPad6,8” running iOS 9.1 was spotted in user logs, according to AppSee.
"Our logs show a new device, named 'iPad6,8' with the size of… 2,048×2,732 pixels (1024×1366 points). This evidence is aligned with previous findings and based on several live apps – making it very concrete."
The next-generation iPad mini will be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2, according to the Japanese blog Macotakara. If true, the iPad mini will see a bump from a 5MP iSight camera to an 8MP camera, and it will be powered by Apple's faster A8 processor. The fourth-generation iPad mini will also retain its 7.9-inch display, while adopting the thinner (6.1mm thick) body of the iPad Air 2, according to the report.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a few last minute predictions ahead of Apple’s June quarter earnings report. In his note to investors, obatined my AppleInsider, Ming-Chi Kuo estimated that Apple " shipped 54.2 million iPhones, 8.8 million iPads, 5.4 million Macs and 3.9 million Apple Watches over the three-month period ending in June." According to Ming-Chi Kuo's estimate, iPad sales have hit another slump and are down 33.5 percent from last year.
The initial shipment of iPad Pro models will be "much lower than most market watchers' expectations," according to the DigiTimes. Supply chain sources told the Taiwanese trade publication that Apple is being rather "cautious" about placing iPad Pro component orders, which means there will be limited quantities of the 12.9-inch iPad when it begins shipping later this year. The supply chain will begin manufacturing the iPad Pro in "late-September and the device is expected to become available in the market after mid-November," according to industry sources.
All next-generation Apple devices, including the rumored iPhone 6s, will have Force Touch technology by the end of this year, according to 9to5Mac. Sources have confirmed that Apple has "designed iOS 9 to be Force Touch-ready" and the iPhone 6s will ship with a Force Touch display with haptic feedback.
The rumored 12-inch iPad, dubbed the "iPad Pro," will allegedly ship with NFC, Force Touch, a USB-C connector and a pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, according to Apple Insider.
The addition of an NFC radio in the iPad will not be for Apple Pay like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, because it would be silly to wave your 12-inch tablet at an Apple Pay terminal. Instead the NFC will be available to easily pair wireless accessories to the iPad.
Sonny Dickson has published several images of an alleged iPad Pro case that reveal more details about the rumored tablet's design. The iPad Pro is expected to look a lot like the iPad Air, except it will measure somewhere around 12.2 to 12.9 inches, and feature a few tweaks such as stereo speakers.
The case acquired by Sonny Dickson features cutouts for two ports, but it is unknown if they are for a Lightning connector or USB-C. One port is located at the bottom of the device and the other is on its side. The stereo speakers will be located at the top and bottom of the slate, and the camera will remain in the same place as the current iPad design.