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13 expectations for Apple's new iPads

Posted: 16 Oct 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPad  tablet  iPhone 6  Apple Watch  A8X 

The iPad Pro

For more than a year, a barrage of rumours has claimed Apple plans to launch a bigger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen. The most recent chatter indicates the so-called "iPad Pro" might not hit the market until next year, but Apple might preview the device this week, just as it teased its upcoming Apple Watch when it launched new iPhones. Aside from extra screen real estate, it's not clear how a larger iPad might offer new capabilities not found in the Air and Mini form factors, which offer screen sizes of 9.7 inches and 7.9 inches, respectively. Certainly, if the iPad Air 2 uses 2GB of RAM and an A8X chip, an iPad Pro would similarly require souped-up internals.

iPad Pro

(Source: MacRumors)

A new iPad Mini

Most leaks have referred to the next-gen iPad Air, with relatively few rumours about a new Mini. Among the Mini gossip that's popped up, some reports indicate an imminent release, while others suggest the device won't appear until sometime in 2015. If Apple refreshes its smaller tablet this week, the device might not receive all the same upgrades as the next-gen Air, such as a new processor and more RAM. But other improvements, such as the addition of Touch ID, are likely to reach all new models.

With the holidays around the corner, why would Apple wait to release a new Mini? Some rumours indicate supply chain shortages might be part of the problem, but it's also possible Apple doesn't want a new Mini to interfere with strong sales of the iPhone 6 Plus. Carrier subsidies disguise the fact that iPhones are actually more expensive than most iPads, so from Apple's perspective, new iPhone 6 Plus sales are more profitable and desirable than new Mini sales.

A new iPad Mini

Great Mac integration

With "Continuity," OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 include a variety of new features to help Macs and iOS devices better complement one another. Users will be able to answer iPhone calls using an iPad or Mac, for example. Tasks begun on an iOS device in apps such as Safari, Pages and Messages will translate seamlessly to Macs and vice versa. Both Microsoft and Google include similar multi-device syncing features in their respective platforms, but, as usual, Apple isn't aiming to be the first to launch a new feature; it's aiming to offer the best, most intuitive implementation.

Time will tell if the company succeeds. Strictly speaking, this new feature won't be confined to next-gen iPads; the company has confirmed the last two generations of its tablets will also support Continuity. Nevertheless, by making its ecosystem more cohesive, Apple will likely improve sales of its newest devices.

Great Mac integration

- Michael Endler
  Information Week

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