Report: Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro Features Force Touch, Stylus
Apple (AAPL) is expected to begin full-steam ahead production within the next two months on its long-awaited, large screen, 12.9-inch iPad Pro featuring the Force Touch technology now on its Watch and expected on the next iPhone rumored for a September debut.
The iPad Pro reportedly not only will feature Force Touch technology, which senses the difference between a tap and a firmer press, but also will include a stylus, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, a respected Apple watcher, writing in an investors’ note and reported by 9to5Mac.
The Force Touch technology, along with the stylus, aim to help users more capably navigate the larger real estate of the iPad Pro screen, the report said. Kuo believes that the stylus will be manufactured by Cheng Uei and may be designed to be compatible with forthcoming iPad models as well.
KGI believes Apple could sell as many as 5.5 million units of the iPad Pro this year along with another 1 million units of the stylus. That would exceed the highest estimates of Apple Watch sales and amount to about half of Apple’s 10.9 million iPad tablets shipped in its FQ3 2015.
Here’s an excerpt of Kuo’s notes, as 9to5Mac posted:
With regard to the present technologies, we believe if the Force Touch module for iPad is designed using the same structure that was used in the iPhone, the larger size may result in a poor yield rate. This is why we think a stylus may be necessary to make Force Touch work properly on the 12.9” iPad. We also believe a Force Touch-enabled stylus will enhance productivity as it would offer more precise operation than using only fingers. Technically, we believe the stylus can be made compatible with iPad models other than the 12.9” version, but it depends on the support of software.
We estimate new 12.9” iPad shipments from component makers and EMS providers will reach 2.5-3.5mn units and 1.5-2.0mn units this year, respectively. Being an optional accessory, we expect stylus shipments to be below 1.0mn units. However, as it’s a brand new product, and given the market buzz, we expect Force Touch-enabled stylus to serve as a share catalyst for related plays, including the main beneficiary, Cheng Uei, which is the sole assembler of the stylus.
When Apple will announce the iPad Pro is still guesswork with some rumors predicting it may be unwrapped at the vendor’s September event and others saying that’s unlikely.
The iPad maker reportedly has turned to app developers to gussy up its tablet line to improve its posture with corporate clients. Apple’s scheme is to involve convincing business customers to rethink how mobile, task-specific apps on the iPad can help in a work setting.
Apple is said to be working with some 40 companies, including developers of apps for uses such as accounting and sales presentations, to carve out a larger piece of the business pie.