The drumbeat of iPad Pro rumors gets louder by the day. Now the company's larger-screen iPad is set to begin production September or October, according to MacRumors. The report cites KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a great track record for Apple leaks.
If iPad production does begin in September or October, it means we could see it on store shelves as early as late October or into November, if it follows previous Apple product patterns.
As for screen size, Kuo insists it's 12.9 inches, though other reports put the rumored tablet's screen at a slightly-smaller 12.2 inches.
Though the bigger iPad is said to include a pressure sensitive Force Touch screen, it could launch alongside an optional Bluetooth stylus that also features Force Touch. Kuo has previously stated that pressure sensitive iPhone and iPad displays may sense force differently from the way the Apple Watch does. A pressure sensitive stylus (similar to those made by Wacom) could improve Force Touch's accuracy, according to the report.
Apple is said to have been working on the stylus for years.
Force Touch, first introduced in the Apple Watch, is a haptic technology that senses how hard the user presses the screen and delivers touch feedback that fools them into thinking the surface is actually moving. It can also enable access to traditional features.
The iPad already has a strong set of creativity apps, like ProCreate or Paper, that could benefit from a Force Touch stylus. Right now, these apps estimate pressure sensitivity by reading things like how quickly a user draws a line; they don't actually read pressure (though third party Bluetooth styluses can help.)
It wouldn't be much of a stretch to see pressure-sensitive drawing marketed as a key feature — and it's worth noting that the forthcoming iOS 9 version of the Notes app lets you draw as well as type.
Previous reports said the iPad Pro would be unveiled at an Apple event in early September. However, that would be a change from the Apple pattern of past years. The company typically announces iPhones at an event in September, and iPads at an event in October.
If KGI is correct, Apple might be more likely to announce the larger iPad in October, joined by an upgraded iPad Mini capable of split-screen multitasking, courtesy of iOS 9.
Apple's next iPad is not the only product to be found in the Apple rumor mill. The company may also be working on new Apple TV and television streaming service. Further down the road, we might even see self-driving Apple cars.
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