The so-called “iPad Pro,” Apple’s long-rumored largest tablet yet, is not expected to go into mass production until the second quarter of next year.
That’s according to the noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a new research note to investors, the analyst claims that the rumored Apple tablet will use an oxide panel for improved response and display qualities. But he says that the time required to improve the component yield for the device is likely to postpone its production.
Kuo also predicts another decline in iPad sales early next year, with a 54.5 percent quarter-over-quarter drop to 9.8 million shipped units in the first quarter of 2015, “given a lack of new applications, tablet market saturation and slow season.” Kuo adds (via MacRumors):
We believe that, in a major shift, while Apple (US) used to be able to use new form factor designs to boost demand, it has failed to do so this time around. The lighter and thinner iPad Air 2 will face strong headwinds in increasing sales in 1Q15, we believe; we also hold that this means that iPad, along with the entire tablet market, is faced with structural challenges characterized by a lack of new applications and market saturation. We don’t think these challenges will be easily overcome by upgraded specs, new form factor designs or lower prices.
The iPad Pro was reportedly planned for mass production beginning in December. But its production was already delayed as Apple’s suppliers were compelled to refocus their efforts on meeting strong demand for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the iPad Pro would have a display measuring 12.2 inches rather than 12.9 inches, as had been previously rumored, and a depth of around 7 mm. While largely based on the iPad Air 2, its hardware design would reportedly include speakers and microphones on both of its top and bottom edges, reportedly allowing for stereo audio.
I’m currently enjoying my 9.7-inch iPad Air 2. But I’m looking forward to seeing an even larger tablet from Apple and finding out if it lives up to its unofficial “Pro” moniker in terms of advanced capabilities. How about you?
See also: Watch the full video of Apple VP Greg Joswiak’s interview at Re/code’s Code/Mobile, Apple says iOS 8 is now installed on 56 percent of devices, and Apple expands its Device Enrollment Program to more countries and resellers.