Rumors of an Apple iPad Pro return with new leaked case images

Back in August 2014, rumors of a huge, 12.9-inch iPad Pro popped up on the Internet. Initially, reports pegged the larger iPad at nearly 13-inches and claimed it would arrive in 2015. Since then, there has been plenty of talk about the possibility of a larger iPad, so we’ve put together all the latest news and rumors in one post.

Bigger than bigger — but this time, on an iPad

At first, reports hinted that the iPad Pro would be absolutely massive, measuring 12.9 inches diagonally. Since then, a few other possibilities have come up. An early February report from GizmoChina posits the larger iPad will sport a 12.9-inch screen, and be called the iPad Plus, as opposed to iPad Pro or iPad Air Plus. The same article suggests that the iPad Plus will measure 7-millimeters thick, which is in tune with earlier reports.

Earlier on, Japanese site Macotakara claimed the iPad Pro will sport a slightly more manageable 12.2-inch screen. The report did not mention the projected resolution. The publication also hinted the king-size iPad will be somewhat thicker than the svelte iPad Air 2, which measures 6.1-millimeters thick. The iPad Pro is expected to come in somewhere between 6.9 and 7.1 millimeters, so it will be about as thick as theiPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The same publication later picked up a report from Japanese magazine Mac Fan, which published a schematic of what it calls the iPad Air Plus. The illustration shows a 12.2-inch screen, four speakers, and hints that the new A9 processor may power the monster iPad. Seeing as Macotakara accurately predicted other specs for Apple products, Macotakara could be right on the money about the iPad Pro. Of course, there is some debate as to whether the iPad Pro is an official product or just an experiment Apple will discard in favor of other, more popular products like the iPhone.

Brighter, sharper screen powered by huge battery

The iPad Plus’ larger screen, according to GizmoChina will supposedly sport a 2K resolution, but as the iPad Air 2’s 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution can be referred to as 2K, this may not be any different to existing Retina iPad screens. A 11,000mAh battery may supply the power for the massive screen, way up from the 7240mAh cell inside the iPad Air 2.

Previously, noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has also made accurate predictions about Apple products in the past, has turned his attention to the rumored monster iPad Pro. According to his supply chain sources, Kuo says Apple is planning to add a special oxide screen panel to the larger iPad to achieve “high resolution, quick response, and high color saturation.” Kuo also said the new screen and other factors pose a difficult challenge for Apple’s suppliers. His comments were first picked up by MacRumors.

Renders and leaked cases show possible design

In mid-April 2015, Apple enthusiast and leaker Sonny Dickson posted images of what he says are cases designed for the iPad Pro. The designs give little away about the tablet itself, other than it may feature stereo speakers placed at either end of the body, and dual ports – one on the base, and one on the side. A similar layout was seen on early original iPad prototypes.

The cases include a folio-style model with a folding cover that can act as a stand, along with traditional cases for the rear panel that are possibly made from silicone and hard plastic. These show cutouts for the camera, headphone socket, the sleep/wake key, and the new speaker setup. Additionally, there’s a hole for the charger which appears to be larger than expected.

It’s difficult to say these cases are evidence of the iPad Pro’s existence, or its impending release, as case manufacturers will often make up prototypes for unreleased, or even rumored, products.

Using possible dimensions for Apple’s big tablet which were leaked recently, well-known 3D modeler and designer Martin Hajek made a few renders of what the iPad Pro and its accompanying stylus might look like. They show what Hajek calls the “return of the bezel,” while the stylus mockup is a sleek, Adonit-like writing implement. Of course, these images are just renders, so the iPad Pro and its rumored stylus may not look like this at all, though the size comparison could be accurate.

Earlier, YouTube user Canoopsy produced a mockup of the iPad Pro, and used it to compare the size with other examples of Apple’s hardware. Obviously it’s larger than existing iPhones and iPads, but the surprising part comes when it’s put against a 13-inch MacBook, because it turns out to be almost identical in size. Check out the video below to see if you’d want such an enormous tablet.

Launch delayed by iPhone 6 demand

Early reports hinted the large tablet with high-end specs would launch in 2015, but now it seems production has been delayed until the second quarter of 2015, pushing the massive iPad Pro’s launch back further than expected. The news comes from analyst Kuo, who often has his finger on the pulse of Apple’s supply chains. Kuo says that new components and supply constraints have pushed production behind schedule. He did not say when the larger iPad will launch.

Japanese publication Mac Fan pinned the 12-inch iPad Pro’s launch for sometime between April and June of 2015. A spring or summer iPad release would be unorthodox for Apple, but it would match up with earlier reports of supply chain shortages.

Back in October, supply chain officials said production of the massive iPad will be delayed due to huge demand for the iPhone 6. The unnamed supply chain sources told the Wall Street Journal the large iPad was supposed to go into full-scale production in December. However, unprecedented demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus forced Apple to delay production of the iPad Pro. The new iPhone 6 models sold a record 10 million units over the first weekend and demand in China, as well as India is expected to be incredibly high.

“The top priority for the supply chain is to meet the overwhelming demand for the larger screen iPhones. The output of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus remains unsatisfactory,” a supply chain source said. “It would be challenging for display makers to split resources and spend a few months to ramp up production for a new larger screen iPad now.”

The iPhone is Apple’s most popular product, so the company’s focus in centered on producing as many of its new flagship phones as possible. “Everyone is busy with the new iPhones, Foxconn’s bread and butter. Chairman [Terry Gou] has also gone to the Zhengzhou site to monitor the production closely,” a Foxconn official said.

It’s unclear when the large iPad will enter production, but the Journal did say that Apple will start mass production for a retina display MacBook Air in December, with a 2015 launch date goal.

Author: Malarie Gokey

Source: DigitalTrends