Contrary to prior rumors, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s long-expected oversized ‘iPad Pro’ will be formally announced at the iPhone 6s press event after all. The event’s been confirmed to take place a week from today, on next Wednesday, September 9, at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
The publication learned from sources that the forthcoming presentation is set to be one of largest events in Apple’s history. In addition to the iPad Pro and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, it should serve as a launchpad for a fourth-generation iPad mini, a substantially refreshed Apple TV set top box and new Apple Watch Sport bands.
Citing trusted sources, reported Mark Gurman learned that “Apple is currently planning to debut a pair of new iPads at next week’s event: the long-rumored iPad Pro, and a refreshed version of the iPad mini.”
The iPad mini 4 will be thinner than its predecessor and powered by a faster A8 chip with support for split-screen apps via iOS 9. “It will likely also include a pair of upgraded cameras,” states Gurman.
The iPad Pro is “actually the planned name of the device.” Rumored iPad Pro features include a higher-resolution screen measuring 12.2 or 12.9 inches diagonally, support for a Force Touch-based stylus, speakers on two sides for a more pronounced stereo effect and iOS 9.1 software with optimized versions of the Siri and Notification Center interfaces.
The report goes on to mention that Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPad Pro toward the end of October before it hits retail outlets in November.
The massive 7000-seat Bill Graham building was chosen due to the event’s scope, said to include an “unprecedented” blitz of product introductions. New Macs are “unlikely” to appear next week.
No word on a third-generation iPad Air though.
Several sketchy reports based on unproven sources have said that the iPad Air 3 may not be announced this year due to engineering issues and production bottlenecks, but their veracity couldn’t be determined.
For what it’s worth, the publication mentioned that the iPad Air 3 “is also in the works, but sources confirm that it won’t be released until 2016.”