We have a few more details about Apple’s rumoured big-screen iPad, the so-called iPad Pro.
Bloomberg reported eight months ago that Apple’s suppliers were preparing to manufacture a new iPad model with a large 12.9-inch display. The current iPad Air 2 has a 9.7-inch display.
New details obtained by Apple Insider sources recently emerged about the new super-sized iPad that’s due to launch this fall.
One of the most interesting details is the reported inclusion of near-field-communication (NFC), which is the technology used in the iPhone 6/6 Plus to make mobile payments with Apple Pay. Instead of being used to make payments, Apple Insider suggests that the large iPad could be used as an Apple Pay-compatible payment terminal that can receive NFC signals from an iPhone 6/6 Plus.
One major hurdle that Apple Pay faces is that many retailers haven’t upgraded to NFC-compatible terminals, and an NFC-enabled tablet could be the answer to accelerate retailers’ adoption of Apple Pay.
Apart from becoming a tool for retailers to accept Apple Pay mobile payments, CEO Tim Cook himself suggested that an iPad with a larger display could have productivity applications, too. Both Google and Microsoft have offerings with 12-inch displays designed with productivity in mind, referring to Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 3.
Some rumours have claimed that Apple may be introducing a stylus, and the newest report from Apple Insider backs up those claims. Apple has historically been against making a stylus for iPads — Steve Jobs famously bashed them years ago — but it sounds like the iPad Pro will come with a Bluetooth stylus with increased sensitivity for more accurate drawing and doodling.
Apple Insider also reports the new iPad will have a new port called USB-C. USB-C is a new standard port that can be used for charging, transferring files, and video output to monitors or TVs. Apple also introduced USB-C to its newest laptop model, the MacBook.
Finally, the report claims that Apple is adding Force Touch to the larger iPad. Force Touch is a feature first introduced on the Apple Watch. It lets you press a little harder on the screen to bring up extra sets of options. The trackpad on the new MacBook also features Force Touch. The next iPhone is rumoured to have it too.