Analyst report suggests larger-screen version of iPad will come with ‘smart pen’ accessory
Apple’s rumoured forthcoming iPad Pro is set to come with an optional, according to a report said to be close to the device’s production line.
Despite company icon Steve Jobs famously declaring that if a company makes a stylus for a tablet, then ‘they blew it’, a leading analyst has said that the rumoured super-sized iPad will feature stylus compatibility.
And following a wave of 22 Apple patents relating to a smart pen over the last few years, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has predicted that Apple will launch the ‘iPen’ accessory sometime in the second quarter of 2015.
“A stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases,” wrote Mr Kuo.
“Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.”
Kuo did not cite any particular source for the rumour outside of Apple’s own patent filings, but he has a strong track record in predicting Apple’s future product directions, and is known to have close ties to the company’s supply chain partners.
However, Kuo believes that Apple will launch the stylus as an optional add-on, rather than including it alongside the jumbo iPad, due to the initially small target market.
“Coupled with its unfavourable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it,” he wrote. “We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.”
Rumours of a larger-sized iPad have been circulating for around 18 months, as Apple looks to stay in a leading position in what has become an extremely competitive tablet market. Most notably, in July 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was testing 12.9in iPad displays, and in November 2014 Japanese website Macotakara claimed that the screen for the iPad Pro would be a smaller 12.2in.
Both of these will be significantly larger than the iPad Air 2’s 9.7in screen, equal to that of Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy Note Pro and comparable to the 12in display of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.
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