By now, many people know about the expected launch of the new iPad Pro, as well as the latest models of the Apple Watch and iPhone 5SE. But with the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro expected to launch this week, what should enthusiasts and loyalists expect from this new device?
Let’s first look at what we already know about the first edition of the iPad Pro, announced in late 2015. That model features the following items, according to Mac Rumors:
- 12.9-inch 2732 x 2048 resolution display
- A9X processor
- iPad Air 2-style design
- Four-speaker audio system
- Optional Smart Keyboard
- Optional Apple Pencil
- Available in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray
When you look to the newest model of the device, at nearly three inches smaller, one wonders what the difference will be between an iPad Pro and an iPad Air.
The first thing that will be noticeable is the support the new iPad Pro will give to niche devices like the Apple Pencil, designed for artists and creative professionals that as of yet not worked on the iPad Air models, 9 to 5 Mac reports. By beefing up the new iPad models to support these pro features, it could encourage more creative professionals to look at the 9.7-inch models of the new iPad Pro instead of the larger, clunkier models of the iPad Pro currently on the market.
9 to 5 also reports support for the smart keyboard offered for the larger iPad Pro. This shows us a few different things. One, Apple understands that users are largely turning to mobile devices to replace desktop units. That is why the company has seen lagging sales on desktop models and have usually used events like this week’s to push mobile offerings instead of desktop (consider that this week is focusing on the Apple Watch 2, iPhone 5SE, and the new iPad Pro with no indications of any new desktop updates or offerings).
Another signal we can see from Apple’s dive into accessories like the smart keyboard is the company’s need to cash-flow more than the devices these accessories support. It has been evidenced by the purchase of Beats by Dre and it shows that Apple wants to accessorize its products in-house instead of letting that money flow out to companies like Logitech, which realized the profitability of accessories early on and have cornered the market on iPad accessories with keyboards and cases, oftentimes combined into a single accessorized unit.
The last item to note from the new iPad launch is this, from 9 to 5.
“This new iPad Pro launch will also open up the door to Apple further simplifying its iPad lineup. Sources say that Apple is slowing down production of older iPad mini and original iPad Air models, meaning that the iPad mini 2 and first-generation iPad Air are likely to be discontinued upon the launch of the smaller iPad Pro.”
With the new iPad Pros coming to market, many consumers will likely Google “iPad Pro prices” as soon as the announcement is made. Look no further as The Verge noted that prices are likely to be in the $599 range for a 32 Gb unit, not a bad price at all for the new iPad Pro. That said, Verge notes it is still $100 more than a similarly-equipped iPad Air 2.
“One way or another, we’re expecting to see a much more powerful 9.7-inch iPad than what Apple currently has on sale,” Verge reported. “It also means some interesting things for the Air line, should Apple really launch this one under the Pro name: it cements a clear division between Apple’s high-end and low-end tablets.”
The division, it notes, has long been in play for the computer division of Apple.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]