We've been hearing of the iPad Pro ever since we learnt that Apple had adopted its notebook nomenclature for its tablet range. The existence of an iPad Air made room for the company to follow it up with a 'Pro' version of the world's most popular tablet, and a Bloomberg report suggests this is exactly what Apple will do.
According to the report, Apple's iPad Pro will feature a 12.9-inch screen and is well on its way to being launched in 2015. The report cites unnamed people with knowledge of the matter, who claim the device will enter mass production early next year. They added that the iPad Pro has been in development for over a year now.
A larger iPad could help Apple shake up sales of its tablets, which have essentially plateaued in the past few quarters. With smartphones pushing the boundaries of display sizes, sales of tablets like the iPad Mini have or are bound to come under fire. Even Apple is reportedly getting in on phablet-mania with its larger iPhone 6.
Following the company's new sizing logic, the iPad Pro fits right in, serving customers that are looking for a laptop like device that, albeit with a much smaller physical footprint. Sounds familiar? Seems that Apple has taken this play right out of Microsoft's books, and while sales of the Surface Pro range has never kicked off, if Apple gets it right, things could turn out to be very different.
The Surface Pro 3 perfectly illustrates how useful an ultra-large tablet can be, packing in true laptop power into a slim tablet. Here's the other issue with the iPad Pro, which will run Apple's iOS mobile operating system, rather than a full-blown desktop operating system like what Microsoft does.
Moreover, new features such as the split screen functionality which has been rumored to come with iOS 8 could really change the way we use the software. If Apple does indeed release the iPad Pro, we could be using iOS in a whole new way.
The future of the iPad Pro is still far from certain, but the new report from Bloomberg does give us a specific timeline for the device's launch. It will be interesting to see how Apple moves its tablet range closer to the PC market, which after years of decline, is showing signs of growth once again.