Apple’s iPad Air Versus iPad Pro: Is The Rumored Bigger iPad Worth The Wait, And When Can You Get It?

Apple fans are waiting with bated breath for the next iteration of the Cupertino tech giant’s bestselling tablet line, but this year could shake things up considerably with regard to the iPad Air. Apple might be on the verge of introducing yet another version of the iPad, but will it be worth the wait?

Given Apple’s notorious culture of secrecy, it’s nigh on impossible to get anything absolutely confirmed before Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage and shows off whatever the company has been working on. That said, the rumor mills are constantly churning concerning Apple, and some details do leak out. Rumors have circulated for more than a year now that Apple was working on a larger-screened iPad – an “iPad Pro” – and some expected the device to debut last year. This year, though, looks like the year that Apple fans will finally get their larger iPad, and there are a few reasons tech observers are just about certain.

The biggest reason is that references to new iPad models have been showing up in the code for Apple’s iOS 9, as well as in the server logs of app analytics companies. Apple news site 9to5Mac says iPads with screens larger than the one seen on the iPad Air have been referenced in iOS 9 code, as well as in the logs of analytics firm Appsee. This is usually the sort of thing that happens in the weeks and months leading up to the introduction of a new Apple product.

Aside from that, there have been multiple schematics, renderings, and other hints popping up, suggesting that Apple is really getting ready to push out a new, larger iPad this year.

The iPad Pro may well feature a 12.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2732×2048. That sort of resolution – about the width resolution of two 9.7-inch iPads Air running next to each other, according to 9to5 – would enable the iPad Pro to take full advantage of the picture-in-picture and split-screen features Apple introduced this summer for iOS 9.

Apple is also said to be working on a digital stylus to launch alongside the new iPad. A stylus would give iPad users a much more precise way of interacting with the iPad, even if introducing such a peripheral would seemingly go against one of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ biggest touchscreen commands.

Just when can Apple fans expect to get their first look at the next iPad? Some have speculated that Apple might well introduce the iPad Pro next week at the media event it scheduled for September 9. That event, though, is also expected to feature the next generation of the iPhone, as well as a revamped Apple TV set-top box. It seems unlikely that Apple would pack its event so full by adding in a new iPad model to show off.

Instead, Apple will likely hold back on revealing the new iPad until October, which is when it typically shows off iPad models. A separate October event would give Apple time to show off the iPad Pro and the newest iPad mini, but Apple may not introduce a new version of the iPad Air this year, leaving the spotlight to the bigger and smaller versions of the iPad.

[Image via Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]