Apple is debuting a new, supersized iPad called the iPad Pro that is aimed at corporate and business users. The tablet boasts a 12.9” screen, vastly increased graphics capabilities, and something that marks a sharp change from the Steve Jobs era–an official iPad stylus called the Apple Pencil. More so, Microsoft is teaming up with Apple to improve iterations of Microsoft Office for the iPad Pro and other Apple tablets. The lowest-end iPad Pro will market for $799 and the highest end one will be $1,099, with a November release date.
In 2007, Steve Jobs legendarily mocked the idea of a stylus for the iPhone or iPad, asking “Who needs a stylus? Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus.”
However, in a nod to the target audience of designers, architects, photographers, and editors Apple hopes to target with the iPad Pro, they’re no longer saying yuck. More importantly, this indicates Tim Cook’s willingness to introduce technology that already shows up in products from competitors like Microsoft and Samsung.
According to Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, the new tablet has “The biggest screen on an iOS device, and more power and performance than any iOS device.”
Demos of software for the iPad Pro, although they included some consumer applications such as playing a keyboard or watching a movie, skew toward the workplace. Autodesk is releasing a revamped version of their AutoCAD 360 design app for the iPad, and design app UMake was heavily featured. Adobe is working on a new and improved suite of iOS applications as well, aimed at the iPad Pro.
Taking a nod from their frenemies at Microsoft, Apple is also pushing an add-on keyboard for the iPad Pro that somewhat resembles the Surface hybrid tablet. Apple’s keyboard will feature a proprietary port that will make it incompatible with existing keyboards.