Last year, the sales of Apple’s iPads really took a hit. Despite tablets having experienced success for almost half a decade, Q4 2014 saw the tablet market suffer its first ever year-over-year sales decline (a decline of 3.3%) and Apple was one of the hardest hit companies. According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s iPad sales decreased by 17.8% in Q4 2014 in comparison to Q4 2013 and there market share took a hit too as they went from having 33.1% of the market in Q4 2013 to having 28.1% of the market the following year.
While this would be troubling anyway, it is extremely concerning for Apple as in Q4 2014 they launched two iPads – the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. While the iPad Mini 3 was essentially the iPad Mini 2 with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPad Air 2 was one of the most highly rated tablets of 2014 as it was slim, stylish and powerful too, so Apple will be disappointed that the device hasn’t performed better.
The Cupertino, Calif. company isn’t resting on its laurels, though, which is why Apple is already working on a brand new iPad which will reportedly be called the iPad Pro. Unlike with previous iPads, which catered to anybody who wanted a larger mobile screen, the iPad Pro will directly cater to business professionals, with the huge screen size (12.9″) designed to help people replace their desktop computers.
According to AppleInsider, the iPad Pro will also use NFC (Near Field Communication), something which Apple’s other devices use for their wireless payment service, Apple Pay. However, the publication says that it is unlikely that the iPad Pro will allow users to pay for things wirelessly and that instead the tablet will be a host for Apple Pay, meaning that business owners will be able to install it in their stores and allow customers to use their Apple Pay-enabled devices with it.
Additionally, NFC may also be used to connect an accompanying stylus, which would make sense as the larger screen could prove to be difficult to navigate for some users. This stylus may use pressure sensitive inputs as the iPad Pro will be another Apple device to utilise their ‘Force Touch’ haptic technology – which is also rumoured to be in the upcoming iPhone 6S.
The final leaked bit of info is that the iPad Pro could have a USB-C input. UBS-C input allows USB cables to be used any way round, whereas with other USB types one end fits into the host (e.g your laptop) and the other plugs into a device (e.g your phone) but the cable won’t fit if you tried plugging it in the other way around. Adding USB-C to the iPad Pro would make sense given that the latest version Apple’s other business-friendly device, the MacBook, recently included the technology.
This information is unconfirmed for now though, and it’s not clear when the iPad Pro will officially be unveiled, but we’ll let you know once it is.