If you’re still wondering how likely it is that the rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” will begin production in September, a variety of supply chain sources have chimed in to support KGI’s report. According to Taiwanese website Digitimes, the larger iPad will feature displays from Sharp, while Foxconn Group subsidiary General Interface Solution (GIS) will handle the touch modules, lamination, and other assembly tasks.
Industry sources claim the device “will enter production by the end of the third quarter and go into mass production in the fourth. Sharp will provide Open Cell LCD displays while GIS will provide GF touch panels.” Foxconn’s close relationship with Apple, along with cooperation with Sharp, are noted as being the rationale behind choosing those manufacturers.
Secondary suppliers include Samsung for the display and LCD assembly, and TPK for the touch modules. Sources indicate an estimated shipment volume of 4 to 5 million units in 2015, because of the device’s fourth-quarter release. This roughly corresponds to KGI’s estimates of 5.5 million devices.
Recently discovered code in iOS 9 tells us that the display should feature a resolution of 2,732 by 2,048 pixels. It also appears the larger tablet will ship with iOS 9.1, according to details from analytics firm Appsee. We aren’t yet certain whether Cupertino will announce the device at its annual iPhone event, expected to take place on Sept. 9, or if it will hold a separate iPad-centric event in October. If it is really shipping with iOS 9.1, though, I wouldn’t expect to see the device revealed until October, since iOS 9 has not yet been released.
Whenever the iPad Pro is announced and released, I hope it will spur growth in sales for the tablets. The iPad has seen regularly declining sales quarter after quarter, and I’m sure Apple CEO Tim Cook is looking to reverse that trend. Will the iPad Pro do the trick? Only time will tell.