Apple’s rumored 12.2-inch to 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet will not enter mass production sooner than the second quarter of 2015, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has learned, as Apple is still struggling with manufacturing issues. The analyst, who’s often right about Apple’s upcoming devices, has also said that iPad sales in the first quarter of next year might be significantly lower than they were in the same quarter this year.
Kuo said the iPad Pro will have an oxide panel in order to achieve a “high resolution, quick response, and high color saturation,” MacRumors reports. But that also means Apple will need time to improve component yield and assembly, which is why production will be pushed back to the second quarter of next year.
As for iPad sales in the first quarter of 2015, the analyst expects Apple to only sell 9.8 million iPads, 54.5% less than it did in the first quarter of 2014. Apple is expected to sell almost 21.5 million iPads in the current quarter.
“We believe that, in a major shift, while Apple (US) used to be able to use new form factor designs to boost demand, it has failed to do so this time around,” Kuo said. “The lighter and thinner iPad Air 2 will face strong headwinds in increasing sales in 1Q15, we believe; we also hold that this means that iPad, along with the entire tablet market, is faced with structural challenges characterized by a lack of new applications and market saturation. We don’t think these challenges will be easily overcome by upgraded specs, new form factor designs or lower prices.”
Apple has yet to confirm a bigger iPad, with recent reports suggesting the tablet might have a smaller 12.2-inch display rather than the 12.9-inch screen mentioned in most reports detailing the iPad Pro.