The long-rumored “iPad Pro,” with a larger 12.9-inch screen, is inching closer to reality. According to a new report from DigiTimes, production is slated to begin in late September with the device hitting the market sometime in November.
Supply stream sources told the publication that Apple is “rather cautious” about placing orders, and the tablet could be in short supply at launch.
Back in May, a separate report said that the tablet will offer a plethora of new features. Along with Force Touch technology, which is also rumored to appear in the next-generation iPhone models, the larger tablet could offer a Bluetooth stylus with pressure sensitivity, NFC support, and a USB-C connector.
Instead of being used like the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to make purchases, the NFC support in the larger iPad model could act as a receiving terminal for businesses looking to accept contactless payments.
Including a USB-C port would also be an interesting move. The connector first appeared on the new MacBook that hit the market back in April, and it could open the door for iPad users to connect other USB peripherals.
And there were more hints about the “iPad Pro” found in early beta versions of iOS 9. Developer Steve Troughton Smith discovered that the keyboard scales to a previously unknown iPad screen size and adds a Tab and Caps Lock key along with a new top row of symbols.
Apple also added a trio of productivity features in iOS 9, including the capability to work on two apps at once with Split View.
I’m definitely excited about the possibility of a larger iPad option. Hopefully just like the Retina MacBook moved Apple into the future of laptop design, an “iPad Pro” could easily help jumpstart Apple’s sagging tablet sales.