The whole idea of the iPad Pro is in itself a rumor as Apple hasn’t announced or even hinted at its existence. But after a good year of leaks, rumors, and insider reports, a bigger iPad is very likely in the works over in Cupertino. Even the big iPad-only feature list in iOS 9 points to a long-waited emphasis to be put on the functionality of the tablets.
As for price, the iPad Pro will most likely fall somewhere between $699 and $899, so as not to compete with either the iPad Air 2 ($599) or MacBook Air ($999). At that price point, it puts itself squarely against hybrid devices like the Surface Pro 3 ($799).
As we get closer and closer to October, rumors have been spreading, including what the device will eventually be named. But whether it’s an iPad Pro or an iPad Air Plus, here are the five rumors that we really hope are true about this mystery tablet from Apple:
1. The 12.9-inch display
The main selling point of the iPad Pro, of course, is a bigger screen that can take advantage of the new split-screen multitasking features Apple has included in iOS 9. Some hidden code within iOS 9 may point to 2732 × 2048 screen resolution and a 12.93-inch display, which would situate the display at around 264 pixels per inch. Either way, you can expect the iPad Pro to be big enough to easily dock into a keyboard or other peripherals, making it a good productivity or enterprise device.
2. Front-Facing Stereo Speakers
As a “Pro” tablet, it’d be a big shame if Apple didn’t improve the lackluster speakers that live on the current iPads. As shown on devices like the HTC One M9 and new Moto X, having stereo speakers on the front of the body really improves the media-consuming experience. Although they aren’t shown on the renderings above, it really would set the iPad Pro apart in the Apple’s lineup.
3. USB Type-C Port
This new kind of USB port was first shown off by Apple in the new single-port Macbook earlier this year, functioning as both a traditional USB port and charging port. It’s pretty clear that Apple will eventually move to the new USB Type-C connector with all its devices at some point, but some rumors are now saying it’ll show up in the iPad Pro. The reversible, tiny new USB connector has already shown up in devices like the OnePlus 2 and the 2015 Chromebook Pixel, so we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it on the bottom of the iPad Pro.
4. Stylus Support
Although very few devices have ever made stylus support a must-have feature, Apple is the kind of company that would do it right. Apple’s “less is more” approach to features and peripherals suggest that if it really did offer some kind of a first-party stylus to along with the iPad Pro, it would really find a reason to make it essential.
5. Coming This Year
Apple usually announces its new lineup of iPad models in October, just in time for a November holiday release. If the rumors coming from manufacturing plants are true, we will see the iPad Pro announced at a press event in October and on store shelves by November. Some rumors have pointed toward a new iPad mini 4 that will have many of the same specs as the iPad Air 2. If the iPad Pro does indeed come out this fall, it’s possible that the iPad Air 2 will not get refreshed.