Apple appears to have killed off plans for its 12.9–inch iPad Pro slate.
A new report from supply chain nosey parkers Digitimes claims that Cupertino has decided there’s no future in a plus–sized version of its best-selling tablet, instead keeping its focus on the iPad Air and pared down iPad Mini.
The site reckons the decision is grounded in research that shows a distinct lack of interest from developers in creating apps for larger screens using mobile operating systems.
Word is that Samsung’s recently launched Tab Pro and Note Pro devices, which use heavily tweaked versions of Android, are unlikely to sell in significant numbers in 2014.
The simple fact is that if developers aren’t keen, there’s really no point in Apple building and launching an iPad Pro.
Being a tool focused at productivity, only a limited number of apps would be optimised for such a slate.
That immediately limits the amount of money that Apple can make from app sales, meaning interest among execs no doubt waned.
There’s also a point, in this so–called post PC world, where you have to ask whether users really want such large devices to carry out tablet tasks?
The cost of an iPad Pro would be so high, and it’d be relatively low powered compared to a similar-sized MacBook Air.
Therefore, it’s hard to see a niche that could be carved out and served by Apple and its ecosystem.
It should be interesting to see how others react to Apple’s apparent decision.
Samsung is never one to shy away from trying everything and anything to get one over on Tim Cook and co and it’ll doubtless plough on in an attempt to show that it can win the day in the pro tablet category.
But the plain truth is that such sizeable slates are nowhere near as portable as current bestsellers.
Consumers want lightweight kit that they can throw in a bag and forget about.
A 13–inch tablet just doesn’t fill that role. You need a bigger, dedicated bag for something that size.
And so, it seems, the iPad Pro has been confined to the dustbin before it even got a chance to see the light of day.
But with the excellent iPad Air and iPad Mini still around, anyone would be a fool to mourn its passing. This is an iOS product we can all happily do without.