Apple’s iPad division has seen better days. Sales for the once popular product have dwindled, and competition has gone from non-existent to fierce. The rumored iPad Pro might be the company’s path to re-invigoration, but analysts say that’s unlikely.
First of all, Apple is late to the party.
According to the Motley Fool, Samsung, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard have already released their own big tablet computers, making Apple’s own launch seem like its become a pack follower, not leader.
Some hopefuls believe that the iPad Pro might garner the same consumer approval as the iPad mini, but that comparison is also shaky.
In September, 2011, with Apple’s iPad still quite expensive, Amazon released the Kindle Fire tablet. It was just 7-inches, and cost only $199. Consumers ate up the new cheaper technology.
iPad’s mini was the answer to the Kindle Fire. Smaller, less powerful, but cheaper.
One might think that the iPad Pro, as a counter to the growing line of larger tablets, will be similar. Except for one factor: bigger tablets haven’t been successful for Apple’s competitors.
Although Samsung hasn’t released exact sales data for its 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro, but it’s rumored to be falling short, below one million units, according to Digitimes Research.
Likewise, rumors are swirling that Apple will promote a stylus as an accessory to the iPad Pro. A stylus is a pen that consumers can use to write on their tablet. Tech writers, and Steve Jobs himself, hated the idea of a stylus, especially given the prominence of touch screens.
According to the Washington Post, Jobs said, “God gave us ten styluses,” waving his fingers. “Let’s not invent another.”
If the stylus is coming as a selling point for the larger iPad, it might actually do more damage. After all, most styluses, outside of design schools, seem clunky, old-fashioned, and unnecessary.
Nevertheless, there are still a few fans of the ink-less pen. Washington Post tech writer Hayley Tsukayama wrote this plea to future consumers.
“But before you dismiss the whole idea as a anachronistic tool from the past, it’s worth bearing in mind that something that can fill the gap between handwritten and typed notes would actually be very welcome both in our personal and business lives. If Apple, or anyone, can come up with a digital pen that can bridge that gap, then I say more power to them.”
In the end, Apple might not even release the iPad Pro. According to BostInno, there is no official confirmation from the company that the iPad Pro will be hitting shelves. All the speculation might be a little premature.
[Image Credit: pahudson/Wikimedia Commons]