Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro development reportedly accelerated after Samsung’s 12.2-inch PRO tablet unveilings

By Alexandra Burlacu | Jan 20, 2014 06:30 AM EST

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Apple has reportedly accelerated the development of its 12.9-inch iPad, urged by Samsung's launch of its new 12.2-inch PRO tablets.

A larger iPad with a 12.9-inch display, purportedly dubbed the iPad Pro, has been rumored for quite some time, with various reports trying to determine what specs to expect. A new report now talks about the potential launch date of the iPad Pro.

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The latest news comes from DigiTimes, which claims that Apple is getting ready to launch the 12.9-inch iPad Pro by September this year. So far, Apple has released iPhones in September, leaving new iPad launches for October. With Samsung already launching its new 12.2-inch PRO tablets, however, Apple is reportedly speeding up the process in order to better compete against its archrival.

DigiTimes' report only mentions the third quarter as the timeframe for the launch of the iPad Pro, which would mean anytime between July and September. In 2012, Apple unveiled its iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, and announced the iPad with Retina display and iPad Mini on Oct. 23. In 2013, the company unveiled the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on Sept. 10, followed by the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display on Oct. 22.

Looking at Apple's product cycles so far, a new iPad launch in the third quarter doesn't seem very likely. In this context, however, it does sound plausible. Samsung has recently launched its new Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 and Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 at CES 2014, getting a significant head-start in the large-tablet race. Consequently, Apple's rush to jump on the 12+ inch segment with a new Pro tablet may be justified.

The DigiTimes report further indicates that although Samsung beat Apple to the punch by launching larger tablets first, Apple may ultimately win the race.

"Apple and Samsung Electronics will remain as the global top-two tablet vendors in 2014 with expected shipments of 80-90 million and 60-70 million units, respectively," supply chain makers reportedly told DigiTimes.

Without an official announcement from Apple, however, we'll have to file this in the rumor category for now. Highly-anticipated flagship devices from heavyweight companies are always widely rumored, but not all reports prove to be accurate in the end. Consequently, it is always best to take all leaks, rumors, and reports with a hefty grain of salt until official confirmation. 



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