WSJ: 12.9″ iPad Could Have USB 3.0; 12″ MacBook Air Geared for Q2

Apple has decided to delay mass production of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in an effort to make it more enterprise-ready, anonymous sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal suggest. The bigger-screen iPad is said to include USB 3.0 ports, people familiar with the matter have said.

IPad Pro

This seems to be a last-minute change – at least according to these people – because an earlier rumour claimed Apple suppliers had started mass producing the iPad Pro in January.

“Apple has continued to rework some of the features of the larger iPad. It is now considering the faster technology for data synchronization between the larger iPad and other computing devices,” said the person.

“Apple is also working on technology to speed up the iPad charging time, but it remains uncertain if the final design will have these new features.”

We can’t deny the fact that Apple works with suppliers and tests the latest technology in its labs, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will immediately find its way into the final version – Apple usually decides the design and features of the devices almost a year ahead of the official launch, so we need to consider that as well.

Strategy Analytics analyst Peter King believes the enterprise market will play a key role in tablet market growth in the coming years. The iPad Pro could be a positive driver of iPad sales for Apple.

In a separate report, Digitimes claims Apple will use Oxide LCD display technology in the 12.9-inch iPad, and that mass production will kick off in the third quarter of 2015.

Market rumors over the last six months have stated that Apple would aim to release the device in the first half of the year, with mass production occuring in the first quarter. The company, however, has been assessing different panel technologies ranging from a-Si, TFT LCD and Oxide LCD in terms of cost versus performance, and has only recently decided to move forward with Oxide technology.

Sharp, LG Display, and Samsung Display are all in line to capture Apple’s orders, the sources say, but Sharp will allegedly be the main supplier thanks to its advantages in the market for Oxide production.

Apple’s media event is scheduled for next Monday, March 9. There is a slight possibility for a 13-inch MacBook Air refresh.

The 12-inch Retina MacBook Air will likely be announced in the second quarter (WWCD anyone?): “While suppliers are gearing up to ship the new 12-inch MacBook Air in large quantities in the second quarter, Apple’s launch schedule remains unclear, the people said,” the WSJ says.

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