While it’s not clear whether or not we’ll see any evidence of an iPad Pro at the supposed Apple event this month (with one report claiming it’ll be on October 16, with others claiming October 21), that hasn’t stopped the rumors from flying about the tablet. The latest and most tantalizing rumor yet comes from Digitimes, which claims that the iPad Pro might not simply run iOS 8, but a version of OS X as well, a combination that could give Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 a real run for its money.
According to the post, the news comes from “sources in the supply chain” who claim that there are two 12.9-inch prototypes for the iPad Pro being tested at the moment. One of those prototypes, apparently, “is a 2-in-1 device” that will “feature an operating system that integrates Mac OS and iOS.” The other device is said to be “a regular tablet.”
A post on 9to5Mac throws some doubt on the report, however, citing Tim Cook’s 2012 comments about Microsoft’s Windows 8 and its efforts to merge two kinds of operating systems into one Frankenstein monster. At the time, he said it’s like combining “a toaster and a refrigerator,” and that Apple would never do it. From a more practical standpoint, the post explained the technical necessities to make such a 2-in-1 device a reality:
“Unless Apple will bring OS X to ARM, Apple would need two separate CPU architectures inside the machine to function. Moreover, OS X would require a lot of software tweaks to make it touch-optimized for a tablet. There has been no evidence so far that this is happening. On the opposite side of the coin, we have seen evidence that Apple is developing a more advanced split-screen multitasking mode for iOS, giving more weight to the fact that traditional iOS is the route Apple wants to follow with the large tablet.”
I happen to agree with that sentiment – but that doesn’t mean that Apple isn’t working out something interesting. After all, despite tons of scrutiny, Apple managed to keep its Watch pretty well under wraps for the many months it was in development. Sure, there were rumors here and there, but the number of leaks about the device were kept to an unbelievable minimum. As such, it’s entirely possible that Apple’s gotten much better at keeping leaks under control, and we may yet see a dual-OS iPad Pro by early 2015 after all.