Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

All the iPad Pro Rumors So Far

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Everything we've heard about the iPad Pro.

Apple's iPad has changed quite a bit over the last four years (yes, it's been four full years since we first laid eyes on the first generation iPad). Since 2010, Apple's tablet has evolved to the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. The two tablets, available in both WiFi and WiFi+cellular connectivity, form Apple's line of tablets. But could there be a new iPad coming soon?

Rumor has it that Apple is prepping its largest iPad yet. While Apple's iPad Air shares the same branding as the super slim MacBook Air, this new model is said to share the same branding as the more muscly MacBook Pro. So what can we expect from the iPad Pro? We've rounded up all the information we could find regarding this as-yet-unannounced device. We'll update this post as time goes on.

Display

The iPad Pro will apparently be Apple's largest iPad yet. As such, the display is the most talked about aspect of the device. Rumor has it we can expect a display measuring just shy of 13 inches. The current iPad Air's display measures 9.7 inches, so this is going to be quite a jump in size. The current 13-inch MacBook Pro has a Retina display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels or 227 pixels per inch. Though the iPad Pro rumors haven't really developed to the point where we can start talking about screen resolutions, it's hard to imagine Apple shipping a non-Retina display panel when all of the current generation MacBook Pros have a Retina display. One interesting rumor from late last year suggests 'near UHD quality.'

Form Factor

There is talk that Apple's iPad Pro might actually be a hybrid device. Not hard to picture, given it will carry the Pro branding. Consider the fact that Apple has been advertising the iPad as a 'work on the go' device since its launch, and it seems like a no-brainer. That leaves us wondering how Apple is going to implement this 'hybrid' functionality. Will it be a dock, like the Transformer Prime from Asus, or will Apple go for a more elegant solution, like Microsoft's Surface and its Type Cover?

Hardware

Again, there isn't a whole lot of information available about the hardware powering this large tablet, but the company's recent A7 chip is built on the 28 nm process and boasts a 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU with PowerVR G6430 graphics (450 MHz). This 64-bit chip powers the iPad Air. While it might not be powerful enough for a 'Pro' iPad, we're already hearing rumors about Apple's A8 SoC. At the end of January, DigiTimes reported that the next processor is rumored to be a package-on-package SoC with processors and mobile DRAM in one package.

Software

Apple's iOS 7.1 update is due in March and will bring some enhancements as well as bug fixes. If Apple introduces the iPad Pro this year, it's likely it will ship with iOS 7. However, it's also possible Apple will tweak iOS just for the iPad Pro or even ship the device with OS X. This will probably depend on the nature of the iPad Pro and its target audience. If Apple is just looking to offer a beefed up tablet, then this device will probably still use the same version of iOS we see on the iPad Air and Mini. If Apple is truly going for the business user, it may need to add OS X or at least tweak iOS to make the device more of a productivity tool.

Release

If you were hoping to see an iPad Pro before the end of the year, you might be disappointed. On March 5, the International Business Times cited KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he believed Apple was pushing the release of the iPad Pro to next year so it could focus on the iPad Air. While Kuo said we can expect an iPad Air 2 this year, fans of the mini won’t see a 2014 iPad Mini.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 34 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -4 Hide
    noureddine elayane , February 14, 2014 1:57 AM
    my blog !http://www.inforexp.com/
  • 7 Hide
    Blazer1985 , February 14, 2014 2:56 AM
    When I first read "ipad pro" I thought of proper x32 capable hardware.. Am I the only one?
  • 10 Hide
    guvnaguy , February 14, 2014 2:58 AM
    I can't imagine why Apple would release a larger tablet with iOS. Who exactly would they be targeting? It would need to have OS X to be marketed to power-users or for productivity, which is what the MB Pro line is for. Also, even if the A8 doubles performance of the A7, it's still nowhere near the Core series. They would have to use Haswell or Broadwell for this device if it runs OS X.
  • 4 Hide
    Bloob , February 14, 2014 3:04 AM
    Quote:
    I can't imagine why Apple would release a larger tablet with iOS. Who exactly would they be targeting? It would need to have OS X to be marketed to power-users or for productivity, which is what the MB Pro line is for. Also, even if the A8 doubles performance of the A7, it's still nowhere near the Core series. They would have to use Haswell or Broadwell for this device if it runs OS X.
    Yes, and even if they made some sort of iOS & OSX hybrid, it would break compatibility with either OSX or iOS applications, unless they can somehow stuff in both an x86 & an ARM CPUs, or do some sort of emulation or somesuch. Both options have huge drawbacks. I'm guessing this is a similar case as the smartwatch -rumors.
  • 3 Hide
    apache_lives , February 14, 2014 3:48 AM
    so another toy for the kidsill stick to a Windows tablet, even the Windows RT tablets are more "pro" then ANY ipad or any android device for that matter
  • -5 Hide
    SyllabicGeek , February 14, 2014 3:57 AM
    Will they be offering an iBackpack to carry around this ridiculously HUGE tablet? This is an epic fail. Apple misses the mark yet again.
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , February 14, 2014 4:54 AM
    Quote:
    Will they be offering an iBackpack to carry around this ridiculously HUGE tablet? This is an epic fail. Apple misses the mark yet again.
    Considering:1. They created the multi-billion dollar touch tablet market and had every electronic manufacturer copying their products2. They have the most apps designed for tablets, ie. developers rather designed tablet specific apps for iPad versus any other tablet on earth3. They have the most popular tablet model, and that's been true the past 4 years4. They generate the most revenue and profits from tablets then any other company5. They have pushed technology in tablets more than any other company: first viable touch tablet with retail traction, retina, 64-bit cpu, mini has the best screen for its size, etc.How exactly is Apple missing the mark again when they've dominated and every other company even after 4 year is trying tooth and nail just to get a slice from their pie?
  • 0 Hide
    NinjaNerd56 , February 14, 2014 4:55 AM
    I think an iPad Pro, if it exists, will be an A8 package and will run IOS.Apple will not build a 3rd OS around some hybrid version of IOS/OSX. The cost / benefit ratio won't work.Screen? Whatever they can afford to hit the target build cost.Smart Cover > Smart Case > Smart Shell (case w/ keyboard) - pretty obvious evolution.Note that Apple gives away iWork now...just like Microsoft Surface with bundled Office, Skype. Chicken / egg here.Lastly, I work with Fortune companies every day and iPads are by far the most used tablet and absolutely displaces laptop use. Every day, I hear things like "yeah, I have a laptop, but I do 80% (or more) daily work on my iPad." Apple took a while to develop the platform AND the thinking to move into business versus content consumption, but they are nearly there. That's why I think a Pro will appear and will be more...and less...than people expect.
  • 0 Hide
    dwdesign , February 14, 2014 5:04 AM
    Rumor has it from Digtimes that Intel is trying to cut a deal with Apple for their Atom x86 Bay Trail 22Nm So Cal MPU to be used in Apple tablets which would probably be capable of both IOS and OSX.
  • 0 Hide
    meluvcookies , February 14, 2014 6:20 AM
    So this sounds like it could be setting up for a device similar to the surface pro 2: Apple following suit by beefing up specs and OSX?
  • 0 Hide
    SyllabicGeek , February 14, 2014 6:34 AM
    Quote:
    I think an iPad Pro, if it exists, will be an A8 package and will run IOS.Apple will not build a 3rd OS around some hybrid version of IOS/OSX. The cost / benefit ratio won't work.Screen? Whatever they can afford to hit the target build cost.Smart Cover > Smart Case > Smart Shell (case w/ keyboard) - pretty obvious evolution.Note that Apple gives away iWork now...just like Microsoft Surface with bundled Office, Skype. Chicken / egg here.Lastly, I work with Fortune companies every day and iPads are by far the most used tablet and absolutely displaces laptop use. Every day, I hear things like "yeah, I have a laptop, but I do 80% (or more) daily work on my iPad." Apple took a while to develop the platform AND the thinking to move into business versus content consumption, but they are nearly there. That's why I think a Pro will appear and will be more...and less...than people expect.


    1. You cannot "work" on your iPad. Stop lying. Android tablets like the Asus Transformer or the Surface from microsoft are work tablets.

    2. Android makers have already reached a level Apple only dreams of.
  • 2 Hide
    SyllabicGeek , February 14, 2014 6:43 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Will they be offering an iBackpack to carry around this ridiculously HUGE tablet? This is an epic fail. Apple misses the mark yet again.
    Considering:1. They created the multi-billion dollar touch tablet market and had every electronic manufacturer copying their products2. They have the most apps designed for tablets, ie. developers rather designed tablet specific apps for iPad versus any other tablet on earth3. They have the most popular tablet model, and that's been true the past 4 years4. They generate the most revenue and profits from tablets then any other company5. They have pushed technology in tablets more than any other company: first viable touch tablet with retail traction, retina, 64-bit cpu, mini has the best screen for its size, etc.How exactly is Apple missing the mark again when they've dominated and every other company even after 4 year is trying tooth and nail just to get a slice from their pie?


    1. Apple did not create anything. They repackage existing technologies and buy all their parts rather than create them.

    2. Apple is the one who copied from already existing tablets. Apple has also stolen over 15 android features in the last 3 years. Apple is now copying screen size.

    3. Sorry little buddy but Android has just as many apps and even better, most are free. They work as well or better.

    4. Popularity means nothing. Most people are dumb consumers. That is a fact. But people are waking up. Apple market share has only been going down. Single digits within 16 months.

    5. retina? lol you mean a hd screen like existed before and after them. PPI is also higher on android phones and tablets. 64 bit? You mean the normal progression that happened in computers? 64 bit is almost 100% useless with one gb of ram. BTW, android has 64 bit baked in. Android was, is and will always be ahead on ios. The first mini had the WORST screen on the market and now with their upgrade, they are still not the best. where do you get your information? apple forums?

    6. Apple is 15 percent market share!!!! dominating? LOL



  • 0 Hide
    Bnbnbnbn , February 14, 2014 7:26 AM
    Syllabic, why lie on so many facts above? Your sentence construction is predictable. Each sentence using a mixture of hyperbole, aggessive assertions, FUD, rhetorical questions, but also some blantant absurdities ("copying screen size"). Are you a pro spam machine.
  • 5 Hide
    SyllabicGeek , February 14, 2014 7:31 AM
    Quote:
    Syllabic, why lie on so many facts above? Your sentence construction is predictable. Each sentence using a mixture of hyperbole, aggessive assertions, FUD, rhetorical questions, but also some blantant absurdities ("copying screen size"). Are you a pro spam machine.
    Apple has said in the past that the iPad screen size was perfect and they would not do a smaller or bigger version. They said the same about the iPhone. Then Apple lost most of its market share and is now copying everything that android phone makers are doing. Just the facts little buddy.
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , February 14, 2014 7:40 AM
    To Apple fans, it is like this:

    When Apple successfully created a popular market, anyone who tries to follow and come up with similar but ultimately different products (different OS, size, features etc etc) are deemed to be COPYING from Apple. It does not matter Apple itself copied someone else, such as iPod, which copied the MP3 players that came before it. Yes, to Apple fans, iPod is not a copy because the OS, size, features etc etc are different. But anyone who tries to compete with Apple is automatically deemed as a copycat. It is no use arguing with them.

  • -1 Hide
    j3rdonn , February 14, 2014 8:00 AM
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-b6dXManNn8o/TlLCYagHPsI/AAAAAAAAbiI/XiRYWpY8poM/tttttt.jpg
  • 0 Hide
    sean1357 , February 14, 2014 9:03 AM
    Who cares about idiots in here? As long, it looks slick and light. I like it. MS had they changed back in 2001 with Windows Tablet XP, but it looked like a brick to me. That why it failed....
  • 0 Hide
    burkhartmj , February 14, 2014 9:23 AM
    Quote:
    Syllabic, why lie on so many facts above? Your sentence construction is predictable. Each sentence using a mixture of hyperbole, aggessive assertions, FUD, rhetorical questions, but also some blantant absurdities ("copying screen size"). Are you a pro spam machine.


    I get what you're trying to say, but he does have some solid points amidst the hyperbole and FUD. Apple revitalized a preexisting tablet market by taking it in a different, limited direction that was right for the time [the tablets and convertibles of the time were just too bulky because they were forward looking devices before their time]. Giving credit where it's due, if Apple hadn't done this the tablet market almost guaranteedly wouldn't have accelerated and become what it is now.

    Apple IS taking features from Android. It's still very much its own OS, and what they're taking is not stealing, but rather normal idea diffusion that occurs in a fast paced tech market, but nonetheless it is happening.

    Comparing the tablet apps of iOS and Android is kind of useless. the iPad has more tablet specific apps sure, but part of that is because the design philosophy behind Android apps is one of responsive adaptibility. IE: the Evernote app is a single app, but adjusts to the reported screen size in various ways depending on the device. Because of this, Android doesn't NEED tablet specific apps as much as the iPad does.

    Most apps are free on iOS too, so I'm not sure what he's getting at there, though having a market of apps good enough that people are willing to spend money isn't exactly a bad thing either, so I figure the 2 stores are a wash.

    I have to give him the retina argument. When the first retina iPad came out, it was pretty impressive [though simultaneously irksome being at such a weird resolution. 2048x1536? really?] But the iPad mini came out next to Android tablets with better specs and a better screen. The $400 second gen iPad mini is coming out into the same situation. The $230 Nexus 7 has nearly the same PPI, and people love its screen. And the Nexus 10 [though getting a bit long in the tooth] is rocking a 2560x1600 display.

    While iOS is 15-20% marketshare, the iPad is over 60% tablet market share, so that was indeed complete FUD.
  • 4 Hide
    SyllabicGeek , February 14, 2014 10:07 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Syllabic, why lie on so many facts above? Your sentence construction is predictable. Each sentence using a mixture of hyperbole, aggessive assertions, FUD, rhetorical questions, but also some blantant absurdities ("copying screen size"). Are you a pro spam machine.


    I get what you're trying to say, but he does have some solid points amidst the hyperbole and FUD. Apple revitalized a preexisting tablet market by taking it in a different, limited direction that was right for the time [the tablets and convertibles of the time were just too bulky because they were forward looking devices before their time]. Giving credit where it's due, if Apple hadn't done this the tablet market almost guaranteedly wouldn't have accelerated and become what it is now.

    Apple IS taking features from Android. It's still very much its own OS, and what they're taking is not stealing, but rather normal idea diffusion that occurs in a fast paced tech market, but nonetheless it is happening.

    Comparing the tablet apps of iOS and Android is kind of useless. the iPad has more tablet specific apps sure, but part of that is because the design philosophy behind Android apps is one of responsive adaptibility. IE: the Evernote app is a single app, but adjusts to the reported screen size in various ways depending on the device. Because of this, Android doesn't NEED tablet specific apps as much as the iPad does.

    Most apps are free on iOS too, so I'm not sure what he's getting at there, though having a market of apps good enough that people are willing to spend money isn't exactly a bad thing either, so I figure the 2 stores are a wash.

    I have to give him the retina argument. When the first retina iPad came out, it was pretty impressive [though simultaneously irksome being at such a weird resolution. 2048x1536? really?] But the iPad mini came out next to Android tablets with better specs and a better screen. The $400 second gen iPad mini is coming out into the same situation. The $230 Nexus 7 has nearly the same PPI, and people love its screen. And the Nexus 10 [though getting a bit long in the tooth] is rocking a 2560x1600 display.

    While iOS is 15-20% marketshare, the iPad is over 60% tablet market share, so that was indeed complete FUD.


    1. According to IDC, Apple had 33.8% of the tablet market at the end of 2013.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/tablet-market-share-chart-2014-2

    Not 60%! They have a 16% in smartphone share.

    These numbers are going down every year.

    2. ipad mini had a crappy low resolution screen when other mini's were sporting HD
  • 0 Hide
    rapman4488 , February 14, 2014 10:58 AM
    That would be awesome if it could dual boot iOS and OSX. Both have its advantages.
Display more comments