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Two new reports about Apple’s long-rumored iPad Pro claim that we may see the 12.9-inch tablet in the second half of 2015. Both reports, however, offer different explanations for why production on the iPad Pro might be on hold until later this year.

A Wall Street Journal report says that Apple is considering adding a few features to the iPad Pro that would be a first for the iPad line. The feature that earns the most ink in the report is a USB 3.0 port, while the story also says Apple is thinking about adding keyboard and mouse connectivity ports. As to why Apple would add ports for peripheral accessories when Bluetooth would suffice – and has sufficed in the past – isn’t entirely clear. The only possible explanation could be that the iPad Pro could be Apple’s attempt to better compete with the Microsoft Surface Pro line, which finally it its stride with the Pro 3 last year.

Meanwhile, a report from Bloomberg takes a less optimistic view of Apple’s delays. That story says that production is being held until September because of short supply of 12.9-inch display panels. That said, similar rumors swirled about the iPhone 6 Plus prior to its reveal, and Apple seems to have had little trouble launching its first phablet-sized handset.

Apple has a big event scheduled for this coming Monday, a gathering that will likely surround the forthcoming launch of the Apple Watch. It seems less-than-likely that Apple will say much – or anything at all – about its other product lines. WWDC is coming up this summer, while Apple will likely host another couple of events in the fall, just as they did in 2014 to announce the new iPhones and new iPads.

If the iPad Pro is indeed slated for the second half of 2015, it stands to reason that Apple will announce it in October, keeping with its yearly announcement schedule. Either way, it seems likely that the iPad Pro is coming, one way or another. Will it be a viable laptop alternative, like the Surface Pro 3? Or will it further blur the line between computer and tablet entirely?

[Sources: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg]


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