We’ve been hearing rumors since the summer of 2013 that Apple looks to emerge with a larger iPad (what many have called the “iPad Pro”). It all started with the Wall Street Journal, who has continued to confirm the iPad Pro – even in the face of Apple’s silence on the subject.
Now, we have more reliable sources confirming the same iPad Pro that Apple was leaning toward for a 2014 release but held back due to production issues. This time, however, it’s been said that Apple will release the larger iPad in 2015.
Tech magazine Mac Fan has leaked its January 2015 magazine displaying pictures of an “iPad Air Plus” that features a 12.2-inch, liquid crystal display (LCD screen) with dimensions of 305.31 x 220.8 x 7mm. Having a thickness of 7mm, the iPad Air Plus won’t have the thinness of the iPad Air 2 (at 6.1mm), and it will necessarily be taller and wider than the iPad Air 2. The iPad Air Plus is said to also have an A8X processor (the same as that of the current iPad Air 2), although some have said that we could be looking at the A9 processor. An A8X processor chip seems likely, considering that Apple just announced the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 in October – and it’s unlikely that Apple would have an A9 processor ready just months after manufacturing the A8 processor.
Mac Fan notes that the iPad Air Plus will also have front speakers on the left and the right of the device, but says that “speaker is mounted in four directions, it seems it is possible to stereo playback by the left and right speakers in any direction” (via Google Translate). This means that the iPad Air Plus will have speakers on both the front and back of the device so that audio quality will be excellent, no matter how the device is turned.
The iPad Air Plus will debut sometime between April and June 2015, the same seasonal timeframe in which Apple released the first iPad with Retina display in March 2012. As for the first-generation iPad Mini and the iPad Mini 3, Mac Fan says that Apple will eliminate both of these from the company’s lineup in 2015. While some may think it a little strange that the iPad Mini 3 would be eliminated, keep in mind that 1) Apple didn’t really update the iPad Mini 2 all that much with the announcement of the third-generation iPad Mini and 2) Apple eliminated the larger Retina-display iPad while keeping the iPad 2 on the market all this time.
We’ve not yet been told the price of the iPad Air Plus, but we do know that it will likely fall somewhere between the price of the iPad Air 2 and Apple’s 13.3-inch laptop PC MacBook and 11-inch MacBook Air lineups.
[Image Courtesy: Macrumors]