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.
Some Apple fans were not very impressed with Apple's third-generation iPad mini which wasn't much of an upgrade from the iPad mini 2. The current model only received Touch ID while keeping the the same specs as the second-generation model. Luckily early rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to give the fourth-generation iPad mini a bigger upgrade whenever it is released, and today the first alleged images of that model popped up on Twitter.
OnLeaks posted a video of an iPad 4 chassis on the French website Nowehereelse. As you can see from the video posted below the lock/mute switch has been replaced with a microphone hole, just like the current iPad Air 2 model. The chassis also features cutouts for stereo speakers, a space for the LTE modem and place for a Lightning connector at the bottom.
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.
HBO is preparing to put another nail in the cable television coffin by partnering with Apple and other companies such as Roku to launch its new subscription based streaming service in April, according to the International Business Times. HBO wants to launch the standalone service called "HBO Now" in "conjunction with the the premiere of the fifth season of Game of Thrones".
The new service will allow customers to subscribe to HBO directly instead of paying high fees for bundled channels from cable or satellite providers such as Comcast or Verizon. The cost of an HBO Now subscription will be around $15 a month when purchased directly from HBO. The company hopes to offer an HBO Now app on third-party distribution services such as Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation and more, just like it does now with its HBO Go service for current customers.
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.
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.