With the iPad mini, and more recently, the iPad mini with Retina display now taking pride of place alongside the tactically rebranded iPad Air, Apple’s tablet range is as diverse as it has ever been. But with many other companies going larger than the 9.7-inch diameter of the full-size device’s screen, there have been numerous suggestions that Apple will come through with a model packing a 12.9-inch Retina panel. Apparently, manufacturers have been given the green light to go ahead and produce this very display for the so-called "iPad Pro," which will, according to reports, release during the first part of 2014.
Just as with the talk of the iPad mini prior to the release of the slate back in the latter stages of last year, the notion of an iPad Pro has been received with a decided amount of skepticism. But with the seemingly informed Korea Times suggesting that production of the 12.9-inch Retina display is now in motion, we could have our first real indicator that this device is indeed real, and will be releasing early next year.
The iPad 4, iPad Air and both iPad minis enjoyed a fall release ready for the holiday season, but with Apple familiar with what it takes to release an iPad in March, it could well be that the company is planning an early release of what will be, by a considerable margin, the largest iPad to date.
The Tim Cook-lead outfit seems to have the form factor down to a fine art, with the uniform look and feel of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display the subject of much acclaim. As such, we would expect the iPad pro to look similar to the current models, but include that larger screen and perhaps more power than the two currently available models.
Maintaining the Retina display over a larger surface area will push the iPad Pro into UHD territory, although one has to wonder how big the market would be for such a device. Moreover, with KGI Securities’ fairly accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo having suggested that Apple will release a refreshed iPad Air early next year, we’ll be taking these claims with a pinch of salt for the time being.
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