Apple’s rumored 12.9-inch tablet – dubbed the iPad Pro – could house a new flexible touch panel in an attempt to significantly improve on-screen sensitivity and accuracy, something which could help with the introduction of Force Touch technology on the new tablet.
According to a newly published report from Electronic Times, Apple is considering the use of a new panel which uses silver nano wire (AgNW) material. This will reportedly improve accuracy, but more importantly pressure sensitivity which is vital if Apple is to pack Force Touch into the 12.9-inch tablet.
Apple had been looking to use a different way to approach Force Touch on the tablet for some time, and according to this report, the company has already requested samples of the touch panel from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display, and other manufacturers.
In light of these developments, the reports predicts that Apple may come out with the new 12.9-inch iPad somewhere next year, with more recent rumors suggesting that it could arrive as soon as late 2015. According to the report, the new AgNW based touch panels could prove to be beneficial to Apple since the tech does not require indium, which is a scarce metal, and hence proves to be an expensive procurement. Purportedly, Apple is prepping up to apply a thin layer of sapphire crystal to the large 12.9-inch panel, though it remains to be seen if suppliers are capable of producing this material for displays as large as the one on the iPad Pro.
Recent rumors have suggested the arrival of some new features as well for the iPad Pro. The to-be largest tablet from Apple could be getting the NFC chip treatment, but it’s unlikely that the device would be able to make use of Apple Pay for over-the-counter payments, and would be more suited for accepting payments made through Apple Pay or NFC. There are also reports of a USB-C port making the cut, but it remains to be seen if the port will actually supplement the existing Lightning port or replace it. Another first for an iPad, is the introduction of a pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, in an effort to give the new iPad some versatile abilities.