Business / Technology

iPad Pro to gain an edge in tablet market

By Meng Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-11 13:15

Despite shrinking shipments, Apple Inc launched a bigger version of its iPad on Thursday, positioning it as a product different from a tablet or a laptop.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, described the newly unveiled iPad Pro, with a significantly bigger screen, as "the biggest news in iPad since the iPad".

According to Cook, the "iPad Pro", with a 12.9 inch screen, can perform like a desktop computer. Apple has also equipped the tablet with a smart keyboard and a stylus called "Pencil".

Apple said it had partnered with Cisco Systems Inc and IBM Corp to help power the iPad Pro, which it said is 1.8 times faster and has a 10-hour battery life. Moreover, efforts have been made to make sure Office software, such as those from Microsoft Corp, can be used in iPad Pro.

However, rather than significantly boosting the sales of the iPad family, analysts said the iPad Pro is expected to improve the sales of Apple's tablet lineup to some extent, thanks to some of the compelling features it contains.

Wang Jiping from the global market intelligence firm International Data Corp said that the iPad and the iPad mini will still be the "mainstream" in the iPad family in the short-term, though their shipments are expected to keep shrinking.

"The iPad Pro is going to be the major growth driver for Apple's tablet lineup in the next year," he said.

In a survey released on Thursday by Penguin Intelligence, a research body affiliated with Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, about 41 percent of the 20,000 respondents said they would consider buying the iPad Pro for its bigger screen and upgraded operating system.

"Apple's iPad Pro joins the Microsoft Surface Pro as an alternative version of a personal portable computing device for creative professionals and professionals," said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc.

Zhu Dalin, an analyst with Analysys International, said iPad Pro's biggest competition will be MacBook, Apple's own laptop, rather than Microsoft's Surface.

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