iPad Pro with Force Touch stylus set for 2015 release

iPad Air

There's no getting around the fact that iPad sales are faltering. After all, iPad sales have been trending downwards for eight straight quarters now. Even if we play off slumping sales to a slower refresh cycle, the fact still remains that Apple is having trouble attracting new users to the iPad.

While the iPad Mini provided a temporary bump when it was released in 2012, it's now 2015 and Apple clearly needs to inject a bit of life into its iPad lineup.

The answer? The rumored iPad Pro.

Rumors of a larger-screened iPad have persisted for well over a year now and there's now enough evidence to suggest that Apple will take the wraps off of a 12.9-inch iPad this year. Without question, Apple is hoping that a new form factor along with a few bells and whistles will help bump up quarterly iPad sales.

Here's what we know so far.

According to the typically reliable Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities, Apple's iPad Pro will feature a 12.9-inch display with Force Touch functionality. The rumor mill further adds that the tablet will feature a 2,048x2,732 pixel display. What's more, the device will come with an optional Force Touch compatible stylus to further expand the types of operations Apple's iconic tablet will be able to accomplish. This may prove to be especially useful for productivity apps.

Kuo also relays that the iPad Pro is slated to enter mass production sometime in September or October. It therefore stands to reason that we can expect to see Apple's gargantuan new iPad hit store shelves sometime in 2015. Naturally, Apple will do its best to get it in stores before the busy holiday shopping season, which kicks off on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sales-wise, Kuo relayed that he anticipates 2015 sales to fall in the 5 million range.

Given what we know so far, expect Apple to perhaps reference the iPad Pro at its rumored iPhone special event which will reportedly take place on September 9. Also on the agenda, according to the rumor mill, will be a completely revamped Apple TV. Apple's long-rumored TV subscription service, however, will likely not see the light of day until 2016 due to ongoing contract negotiations regarding both content and pricing. 

As a quick refresher, Apple's TV service, if all goes according to plan, will offer users a lightweight selection of about 25-30 channels for about $30-40 a month.

via MacRumors

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