With the dawn of a new year comes ever-constant speculation from tech websites about what the newest gizmos and gadgets will be for the upcoming year. Thus far, most rumors point toward the excitement of a potential iPad Pro, rumored to be announced in the fall of 2014.
The rumors received some credence and legitimacy when Evercore Partners‘s Patrick Wang released his thoughts on Apple's newest project:
Arriving in fall ‘14, Apple goes Enterprise with an 12” iPad. Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM’s reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it. Expect a 2-1 hybrid – think iPad + MBA – similar to how most iPads are used in the workplace and in the same spirit of MSFT’s Surface. We discussed A7 in detail, the benefits of 64b, and why it makes sense in our note. Two obstacles: (1) Microsoft Office not just Office 365 and (2) local storage. This would hit Intel in an area of strength – enterprise NBs – and open up the monopoly to price competition, a common theme for Intel in 2014.
By going "enterprise", Wang does not mean that Apple is going to follow in Star Trek's footsteps and "boldly go where no man has gone before," but rather that Apple is going to develop a product to cater more toward businesses.
The move makes sense if one can believe the rest of the rumors surrounding the technology which is planned to be used in the iPad Pro. Apple recently announced its intentions to switch to 64-bit ARM architecture in its newest CPU, allowing for the creation of a new device which could accommodate the RAM necessary to make use of the better processor.
The new 64-bit ARM architecture, coupled with the proposed 12-inch screen, could be used to "create a hybrid-style device that could serve as both a tablet and a notebook, and would make the iPad lineup more appealing to business customers," according to Neil Hughes, a writer for Apple Insider.
If Hughes's prediction is correct, then iPad Pro would be a direct competitor with Microsoft's Surface, a product which Microsoft recently had to take a $900 million write down on due to paltry sales.
However, Apple's CEO Tim Cook has previously stated his disinterest and dislike of Microsoft's Surface multiple times, most recently stating that "Our competition is confused. They're turning tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets. Who knows what they're going to do next?"
One thing is for certain: If Apple decides to create a hybrid notebook-tablet in the iPad Pro, it will be a higher end, luxury product marketed toward those with deeper pockets. And considering the iPad Pro would be an enterprise device, Apple would most likely succeed where Microsoft has failed.
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