Microsoft may have been first to the tablet market with their failed attempt to launch a Windows XP tablet in 2012, but it was only when the Apple iPad hit stores that the tablet market really exploded. It will no doubt be frustrating to Redmond to have made the first move into larger, content creation themed tablets with the Surface with only moderate success to see the predictions that the Apple iPad Pro will be the device to really take that market into maturity.
Research firm Strategy Analytics are predicting that the 11-inch plus market, where the Apple iPad Pro will sit, will grow to 7 percent of the total market, marking a shift from consumption on tablet devices to more content creation.
Gizmodo reported on rumors that the Apple iPad Pro will also come equipped with a stylus. Having tested various tablets with a digital stylus in the work environment, I can say that, if true, it will make taking meeting notes on the new Apple iPad a lot easier, as it's often simpler to write on screen and keep attention focused on other participants than to hack away at a touch screen keyboard.
The combination of a larger screen and stylus on the larger Apple iPad will allow users to take full advantage of the new versions of Adobe's Photoshop which, Pocket-lint reports, are due to be released in autumn this year. It is reported to run on an Apple iPad just as quickly as the desktop version, even working with large 50-megapixel images. With Apple's popularity with creatives cemented over the years, it's not surprising that Adobe are bringing the new version of their tool to the iPad, and other IOS devices first with an Android version in the works, but no firm release date set.
The iPad Pro will also help Apple to continue to expand further into the business market, where the iPad is already popular with executives and becoming a regular feature at board meetings, with the Apple iPad replacing stacks of printed reports. Since Microsoft made it's Office suite free on Apple's iPad and iPhone, The Verge reports that it has received over 100 million downloads. This is a good sign that the Apple iPad user base contains a significant number who would wish to create and edit documents, and the larger real estate on the new iPad will be a welcome feature in the business world.
Are you ready to line up outside Apple stores to grab one of the first new, larger iPads?
[Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images for Hong Kong Images]