iPad Pro rumors have been whirling around the Internet since Apple released the latest in its tablet lineup - the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2. Reports indicated that Apple was gearing up to release a massive 12.9-inch tablet by the end of 2014. These iPad rumors were recently discredited by the sound predictions of Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who doesn't believe the iPad Pro release date will launch in 2014 at all.
"Compared with lower-margin iPad mini with Retina display, which shipments has been tepid, higher-margin iPad Air was a hot selling item in 4Q13, which will slow Apple in developing new iPad mini models. We believe Apple plans to launch upgraded iPad Air early this year, and will accelerate development of 12.9" iPad. As such, more resources will be allocated to these two products, which will affect the progress of the development of new iPad mini. All told, we think chances of the debut of a new iPad mini in 2H14 are slim. In addition, the 12.9" iPad is unlikely to be offered in 2014. For these reasons, we predict the only new iPad product in 2H14 will be the upgraded iPad Air," Kuo states.
Based on this speculation, Apple will release an upgraded iPad Air this year. Consumers looking for a hybrid-style tablet will likely have to wait until 2015 for the alleged iPad Pro device. iPad Air rumors suggest the upgraded tablet will get a next-gen A8 processor as well as a Touch ID fingerprint sensor by the end of Q3 2014.
If the iPad Pro release date does launch in 2015, what can consumers anticipate from the 12.9-inch tablet? To date, iPad Pro rumors surfacing online report that the tablet could come in two resolutions - 2K and 4K screen resolution options with varying price tags. Rumored iPad Pro specs also believe the colossal tablet could feature dual operating systems (iOS and OS X), 4G LTE connectivity, a detachable keyboard, Touch ID fingerprint sensors, and eye-tracking technology.
The delayed iPad Pro release date from late 2014 to 2015 is probably a result of Apple's eventful schedule this year. Kuo predicts that Apple is placing its priorities on the iWatch, which he believes will launch in 2014. The rumored smartwatch has been getting a lot of attention lately, especially after Apple hired a wide variety of health and medical experts for the upcoming wearable device. It's clear Apple is making big moves in getting the mysterious iWatch out to the public sometime soon, especially with competing devices like Pebble Steel and the Samsung Galaxy Gear hitting the market.
In other iPad news, reports indicate that 2014 may not be a fruitful year for Apple tablets. According to AppleInsider, Kuo predicts that total iPad shipments will decline from 34 million units in the first half of 2013 to under 30 million units in the first half of 2014 "unless more aggressive promotions are launched." The iPad mini with Retina display has seen especially "weak" numbers of shipments since its debut in Q1 2013, leading some to believe the iPad Mini might be discontinued altogether.
The bottom line is that consumers shouldn't expect to get their hands on a 12.9-inch tablet by the end of the year. They CAN expect Apple to debut the much anticipated iWatch as well as a refreshed iPad Air in 2014, though.