Apple Insider reported new leaked details on the unofficially named "iPad Pro," including some very interesting new features. Prominently, the inclusion of Near Field Communication (NFC), which is what allows the iPhone 6/6 Plus to make payments with Apple Pay. However, Apple Insider suggests that tap-to-pay functionality isn't likely to be in an iPad and will instead be a payment receiving device for Apple Pay. Still, this capability could prove to be a big game-changer when it hits the shelves, and if true, it's likely that Apple will push the new product to the legions of merchants they just signed up to support its tap-to-pay platform.
Last August, Bloomberg reported that Apple was designing a new iPad with a gargantuan 12.9 inch display, much larger than the iPad Air 2, at 9.7 inches. The decision to ship a super-sized slate could help Apple combat declining iPad sales (the low point in its otherwise stellar second quarter earnings), compete with the Surface Pro 3, and shake up the entire line.
Also rumored to be in the works is a Bluetooth stylus made for increased productivity on a larger display. An unnamed source from Apple Insider says the stylus will feature pressure-sensitive input. If the rumors are true, it looks like Apple is setting up to compete directly with Google, Samsung (S Pen, anyone?) and Microsoft in the market of productivity.
Apple is also allegedly bringing their (unfortunately not Star Wars-related) Force-Touch input to the mega iPad, as well as the next-gen iPhone. Force-Touch was introduced on the Apple Watch, allowing the user to press harder on the screen to access more options.
The "iPad Pro" will also likely include a USB-C port, though alleged design leaks have shown two ports, potentially for both USB-C and Lightning. Apple Insider finally reports that the iPad will include a new A-series processor, surpassing the power of the A8X processor in high-end iPad Air 2 devices. You'll recall that CEO Tim Cook stated quite clearly two years back that he had no intention of shipping a "converged" laptop/tablet, but if the market demands it, who's to say a change of heart is out of the question?
Via Business Insider