The oft-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” is expected to launch after mid-November as overseas manufacturer Foxconn prepares to start supplying components for the large-sized tablet in late September, according to the sometimes-reliable Taiwanese blog DigiTimes. Apple reportedly remains cautious about placing orders for the “iPad Pro” from suppliers due to declining iPad sales and weakening demand in the overall tablet market.
DigiTimes has a hit-and-miss track record reporting on Apple’s upcoming product plans, so this latest rumor should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt. Nevertheless, the rumor is consistent with previous reports that widely expect the “iPad Pro” to launch in the second half of this year. Apple has also historically announced new iPad models in October, which could line up with a launch around mid-November.
Last month, Taiwanese iOS developer Hiraku Wang shared iOS 9 beta code that suggests the 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” could have a 2,732×2,048 display at 264 PPI, the same pixel density as the third-generation iPad through iPad Air 2. iPhone developer Steven Troughton-Smith also discovered that the new iPad keyboard on iOS 9 beta is capable of scaling to a larger size with rearranged keys, providing further evidence that Apple could be planning to release a larger-sized tablet in the near future.
The pro-level tablet is also rumored to feature a 12.9-inch flexible display with increased pressure sensitivity, built-in NFC chip, Force Touch, USB-C port and possibly a pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus. The tablet would also likely have an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM and Touch ID.
A related DigiTimes report claims that China-based white-box tablet makers are preparing to capitalize on the “iPad Pro” launch and seasonal shopping trends by releasing tablets in the 10-inch to 15-inch range throughout the second half of 2015. The tablet makers are said to be sourcing components from Taiwan-based touch controller IC makers including ITE Tech, Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) and ILi Technology (Ilitek).