Apple is rumored to be releasing an iPad Pro in 2015 that will bring competition to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

Apple may not be releasing a 12.9-inch display iPad as originally expected, but the rumored iPad Pro, which will be coming sometime during 2015. Instead the latest rumor suggests that a smaller 12.2-inch iPad Pro will be launched in early 2015, and will be employed to compete with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

The latest rumor also suggests that the device will be as thin as an iPhone, and be more complete than previous iPads. This will be Apple’s first attempt at creating a hybrid iPad, which also works as a complimentary laptop device simultaneously. This hybrid iPad will feature two speakers at the top and bottom to boost the sound quality that has otherwise remained the same throughout the history of the device generally, according to those rumors. Another interesting note is the fact that the iPad Pro might support stereo audio if the same rumors hold up. It’s still very early though to say anything is a certainty.

The size of the iPad Pro will likely be around 7mm in depth, and that will compare very closely to the current iPhone’s on the market – which was a major goal of the company as the iPad Air has been a popular change brought to their tablet line.

See Also: Top 3 Reasons iPad Air 2 is worth an upgrade over iPad Air 1.

Many are arguing though that this is long-overdue and will be Apple’s first attempt at streamlining and improving bottom-line sales for their struggling iPad lineup. The devices have been functional but many have said that they lack sustainability in the long term since most users are looking for something that goes beyond simply being a tablet.

Tablet users are no longer looking for a bigger experience from their smartphone. Instead, consumers are widely looking for a device that can actually put the traditional laptop in the past. This is where these “pro” style devices come in. They function the same way a laptop does, but brings the streamlined size, and function to them that isn’t found in traditional tablets, or at least previous definitions of a “traditional” tablet.

See Also: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 not dead yet, but ARM-based Surface’s future skeptical.

Another area of focus that Apple has decided to make important for this iPad Pro is the increased focus on enterprise apps, and focusing on increasing use for educational purposes. In fact, the company is so overwhelmingly focused on getting their devices into a greater number of people as the demand continues to fade, and sales do as well, Apple has to redefine their focus in this area.

However, it’s unclear right now whether this latest rumor will have any impact on the future of the iPad Air. Right now it would appear as though Apple will remain comfortable keeping both tablets available, in the long term consumers probably should expect to see these “hybrid” devices take over the market and become the core tablet sales for most companies producing tablets.

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