The so-called iPad Pro is indeed real and rocks a 2,732-by-2,048 pixel resolution screen as previously indicated, analytics firm AppSee said Wednesday. The firm captured the device’s identifier in user logs: the iPad Pro identified itself as “iPad6,8.”
The first number designates a major hardware refresh and the second one variations within a generation.
By comparison, the iPad Air 2 model identifiers are “iPad5,3” and ”iPad5,4” for their respective Wi-Fi and cellular editions.
iPad Pro being tested in the wild
Usually when a device appears in analytics and web logs it means one thing: that Apple has started testing new hardware in the wild ahead of production.
Current Retina iPads have a screen resolution of 1,536-by-2,048 pixels at 263PPI, or a little more than three million pixels. The increased 2,048-by-2,732 pixel screen on the iPad Pro works out to about 5.6 million pixels.
The additional horizontal resolution isn’t strictly about crisper images: side-by-side multitasking enhancements in iOS 9 should take great advantage of additional pixels and image data.
The iPad Pro project is internally referred to as “J98“ and “J99”.
Last but not least, AppSee captured the “iPhone8,1” and “iPhone8,2” in user logs, the model numbers that were previously reported on and likely referring to Apple’s ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ upgrades due next month.
iOS 9 evidence
Code strings discovered in the first beta of iOS 9 by developers Hiraku Wang and Steve Troughton-Smith gave us the first solid indication that the iPad Pro could feature a 2,732-by-2,048 pixel resolution display.
If true, the device should have a screen measuring 12.93 inches diagonally and a pixel count of 263 pixels per inch (PPI). For what it’s worth, display technology specialists over at DisplaySearch said as far back as in January of 2014 that Apple was developing a tablet with a larger 12.9-inch display rocking 2,732-by-2,048 pixels at 265 PPI.
According to the revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest analysis issued to clients this morning, the iPad Pro should enter mass production in September or October of this year, in time for the holiday shopping season.
He predicted the device will sport an optional Apple-designed stylus accessory with built-in Force Touch support that should help increase productivity and navigate the screen while enabling force-sensing in software like drawing and image editing programs.
Other claimed features include a faster “A9” or “A9X” chip with 2GB of RAM, stereo speakers and possibly a stronger body made from 7000 Series aluminum, a custom 60 percent stronger aluminum alloy that the Apple Watch Sport’s chassis is made from.
Apple is expected to announce new iPhones, iPads and a next-generation Apple TV at a rumored media event on Wednesday, September 9.
iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook renders courtesy of 3D artist Martin Hajek.