What it is: The rumored iPad Pro is supposedly a bigger screen iPad with a 12-inch screen.
As sales of the iPad sink, it’s apparent that people don’t need to replace their iPads as often as they replace their smartphones. An iPad lasts far longer than two years and can probably go at least four or five years before needing to be replaced. So to give people a reason to upgrade their iPads, Apple announced two interesting features of the upcoming iOS 9, which will be available this fall (at the same time as the new iPhone and presumable the rumored iPad Pro).
First, iOS 9 now allows multitasking. On a small iPad mini, this doesn’t make any sense, but on a larger screen iPad (either the current iPad size or the rumored iPad Pro), multitasking with split screens will be handy for viewing more content at the same time. That feature right there will make the iPad Pro more attractive for businesses.
Second, iOS 9 will also allow the virtual keyboard to be turned into a trackpad when you press two fingers on the surface. This lets you smoothly position the cursor. Lift your fingers up and the virtual keyboard reappears again, ready for typing.
Both features of iOS 9 will likely be especially handy for the bigger iPad (as opposed to the iPad mini) and be attractive for business users as opposed to people who just want to play games. That means if Apple introduces an iPad Pro, they’ll likely sell more units and boost total iPad sales all over again.
Of course, the iPad Pro will likely run into the same situation as today’s iPad, namely that it will last at least four to five years before needing to be replaced. By then, Apple should have newer features that will make replacing an iPad more attractive.
The real market for the iPad isn’t just consumers who can be perfectly content with an original iPad that still browsers the Internet and plays games just fine. The real iPad market is now the business user who may be able to ditch their laptop completely and just rely on an iPad exclusively. Businesses users will likely upgrade more often so this should keep total iPad sales steady.
With iOS 9 coming out this fall, it’s easy to guess when the rumored iPad Pro will likely appear (the fall). Today’s iPads are great for work and play. Tomorrow’s iPad Pro will be geared more for work. With multitasking and a virtual touch pad, the future of the iPad is starting to look rosy all over again.