The iPad Pro does not include a USB port, but it does sport a "Smart Connector" for use with Apple's Smart Keyboard. The iPad Pro also ships with a Lightning connector, 4 built‑in stereo speakers, 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack and dual microphones.
Production of the iPad Pro has been pushed back until September, according to reports from both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. This means the 12-inch slate will most likely not make an appearance at Apple's upcoming Spring Forward event on Monday, March 9th. An unnamed source told Bloomberg that "delays involving the supply of display panels" have forced Apple to start production later than they had hoped.
People familiar with the iPad Pro’s design told the Wall Street Journal that the tablet may ship with USB 3.0 support. If true, this would make the iPad Pro the first iOS device to include a port for USB connected devices. The unnamed sources also claim that Apple is considering adding ports for a mouse and keyboard and that the company is working on faster charging technology.
Apple last week sent out invitations to the press for an event being held in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015. Based on the event tagline, "Spring forward," Tim Cook and team are expected to reveal more details about the Apple Watch, but what about the 12.9-inch iPad Apple is rumored to be developing?
"iPad Pro" or "iPad Plus" rumors have been floating around as early as 2012, and several trusted analysts have predicted that the larger tablet would be released sometime in 2015. If true, it makes sense that Apple would also unveil the new iPad in March, instead of holding an entirely separate event. It's no secret that tablets are not as sexy as they used to be, and a bigger iPad hardly warrants an entire press conference for itself.
If Apple Insider's favorite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is to be believed, the company is once again ignoring a famous Steve Jobs' quote by developing a stylus to use with its rumored 12.9-inch iPad. In case you forgot, Jobs famously proclaimed, "if you see a stylus, they blew it" when introducing the iPad in 2010.
Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will launch a stylus in the second quarter of this year because "it's more precise than a person's fingers" and "will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad." Kuo based his report on several stylus patents Apple has recently filed.
Like Bigfoot, the "iPad Pro" or "iPad Air Plus" has once again made an unconfirmed appearance, this time in a blurry image originally posted on the French blog Nowhereelse. The picture was allegedly taken by a "reliable" Foxconn factory worker who also leaked some of the first iPhone 6 images in 2014. The image shows a 3D rendering of the rumored large iPad model with holes for stereo speakers.
The tipster also said that the iPad Pro will be will be between 6.9 and 7.5mm thick and that it will feature a screen size between 12.2 and 12.9 inches. The alleged image of the iPad prototype aligns with previous rumors that claim Apple is developing a larger iPad for a possible 2015 release.
The future of the iPad mini was heavily being questioned before Apple's 2014 iPad keynote in October. Some people believed that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would discontinue the 7-inch tablet since the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus already offered a phablet-sized option. However, rumors of the iPad mini's demise turned out not to be true and Apple did launch a third-generation model.
Today, rumors of the imminent end of iPad mini have resurfaced. According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via iDownloadblog) the iPad mini 3 will be the last of Apple's 7-inch tablets. Apple is expected to stop production on the iPad mini to focus on its upcoming rumored 12-inch iPad Pro. This isn't entirely shocking news since Apple paid very little attention to the smaller tablet during its iPad Air 2 event in October. There also seemed to be a lack of interest in the 7-inch iPad leading up to the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release. The iPad Air 2 was leaked way more than the iPad mini 3, and Apple fans were way more focused on the upcoming iPhone 6 launch and Apple watch than anything else.
Yes, the iPad Pro does ship with Touch ID.
Touch ID is Apple's fingerprint identity sensor that allows users to unlock their devices using only their finger. It can also be used to make online and in-app purchases using Apple Pay. All current Apple products including the newly announced iPad mini 4, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus ship with Touch ID technology.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro and all of its accessories, the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, will begin shipping in November 2015. The iPad Pro will be available in silver, gold and space grey in 32GB and 128GB WIFi-only models and a 128GB LTE model. The iPad Pro pricing is as follows.
- $799 - 32GB
- $949 - 128GB
- $1,079 - 128GB LTE
The Smart Keyboard will retail separately for $169 and the Apple Pencil will cost $99.
Apple will launch its 12-inch iPad Pro sometime in early 2015, according to Macotakara. The larger-sized tablet will be 6.9mm thin and come equipped with stereo speakers. The Japanese blog also claims that the iPad Pro is being modeled after the iPad Air 2 and has provided a rough sketch of the rumored device, which you can see below.
Several reliable outlets, such as Bloomberg, have claimed that Apple is working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but Macotakara says the iPad Pro will only sport a 12.2-inch display. If the rumors are true, it is probably safe to assume that the iPad Pro will feature Touch ID and Apple's A8X chip, like the iPad Air 2. Other iPad Pro specs, besides having a microphone on the top and bottom, are unknown at this time.
Apple is working on two 12.9-inch iPad prototypes, a 2-in-1 device that would run a "Mac OS / iOS-integrated operating system" and its long rumored, basic "iPad Pro" tablet, according to the DigiTimes. Citing "sources in the supply chain," the DigiTimes points to iOS-like features being added to Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite and Apple's recently applied patents to bring a Siri-like voice assistance function to its Mac computers, as evidence that the rumor could be true. However, as 9to5Mac points out, supply chain sources are not known for making the best Apple predictions and that Tim Cook has publicly voiced his displeasure with merging tablet and laptop products.
In a 2012 earnings call Cook explained why Apple would never copy Microsoft and converge an iPad with a laptop.
When asked if Apple was planning to merge its tablet and laptop products, much as Microsoft is proceeding with Windows 8, Cook responded with a quip: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user.”
Cook elaborated that converging the iPad with a laptop would result in tradeoffs, ones Apple isn't willing to make. “We are not going to that party, but others might from a defensive point of view.”