iPad Pro rumors have begun to pick up again, and a new rumor suggests that Apple could discontinue the iPad mini in order to get the iPad Pro off the ground.
According to the Economic Daily News, it’s said that the Cupertino-based company could discontinue the iPad mini in order to concentrate its efforts on the iPad Pro and the iPar Air series, essentially making the 9.7-inch iPad its smaller tablet.
One reason given for this is that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus could cannibalizing sales of the iPad mini, since the smaller tablet only delivers just over two more inches of screen real estate, which isn’t a big jump at all between a smartphone and a tablet.
Furthermore, Apple has been giving the iPad mini lineup less attention. While it updated the smaller tablet last month during its annual iPad event, the iPad mini 3 came with only minimal upgrades in the form of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a gold color option. Other than that, the iPad mini 2 is exactly the same as the previous generation, proving that Apple didn’t put a lot of work into its smaller slate.
While all of the clues are certainly there, it seems highly unlikely for Apple to do such a thing in the near future. The iPad mini is still a relatively new product in Apple’s iOS lineup, and discontinuing such a young device could be premature. Then again, the iPhone 5c only lasted one update cycle, so anything is possible at this point.
According to recent rumors, the iPad Pro will come with a 12.2-inch display along with a body that could be just 7mm thick, putting it in between the iPhone 6 and the iPad Air 2, but not as thin as the 6.1mm iPhone 6.
Furthermore, the new tablet is rumored to come with stereo speakers, thanks to the addition of two more speakers at the top of the device rather than just at the bottom.
Perhaps what’s more interesting is that Apple will market the iPad Pro has a horizontal tablet, rather than a vertical one, seeing as how all of Apple’s press shots and demos are with the iPad standing up, rather than being in landscape mode. That will definitely be something new for the company, but it’s said that the position of the Home button and the front-facing camera won’t change from the current standards.
It’s actually been a couple of months since we last heard of an iPad Pro rumor, even though speculation about the larger tablet has circulated for several years now. If the iPad Pro does indeed see the light of day, it will most likely be aimed at professionals, such as photographers, designers, architects, etc. Of course, the iPad is already a useful device in these professions, but a version with a larger screen and faster internals could be an even better device for such users.
Other than the rumored release timeline, we don’t know much about this fabled iPad Pro. We heard late last year that the device would have a Retina display, but would come with an ever higher resolution than the current resolution found on today’s iPad’s, making the iPad Pro one of the highest resolution displays on the market if it releases.
Furthermore, we were told back in November of last year that production of 12.9-inch iPad displays was underway, with a prediction that 2014 would be the year that we would see the iPad Pro, so there’s certainly some inconsistencies as far as the rumored release timeline, and we definitely won’t be seeing the iPad Pro this year.
2015 could be the year, though, but we won’t be holding our breath, as there is simply no solid evidence or rumors of such a device releasing anytime soon.