Apple iPad Pro to come with USB, Keyboard & Mouse Support?

More details about the oft-rumored 12.9 inch iPad Pro are beginning to surface, and they include things like USB 3.0, mouse and keyboard connectivity, and faster charging technology, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal late Wednesday evening. This report, along with an earlier one from Bloomberg, attempts to add definition to the mysterious project.

According to both reports, the iPad Pro’s production start date has been pushed back beyond what Apple had initially hoped. The Bloomberg report states that Apple is looking towards September for the start of production, while the Journal more vaguely states that production will ramp up in second half of this year.

Although the speculation of delayed production dates are an echo to Wednesday’s earlier rumors, new details about what the iPad Pro may feature, and who it will be geared towards, certainly stir the pot. According the the Wall Street Journal’s sources, people familiar with the iPad Pro’s design state that Apple is working on the following:

  • USB 3.0 connectivity for faster transfer speeds and greater peripheral access
  • “Ports” for a mouse and keyboard
  • Faster charging technology

While the USB ports may be a possibility, the idea of including ports for a mouse/keyboard combination strikes me as a bit odd. Perhaps the source meant a port for a dock that includes a keyboard/trackpad combination, or something of the like. Sort of like what we see Microsoft doing with its Surface line.

iPad-Pro-mockup-video-image-001-1024x826

The idea of USB connectivity makes sense for enterprise customers, something the report states that this product is being geared towards, and for power users. For example, one could theoretically connect fast external hard drives, audio interfaces, and other unique peripherals that require USB.

Faster charging would be a welcomed addition, as when compared to the iPhone, the iPad is significantly slower when it comes to charging it from 0 to 100%. A device with the Pro’s rumored 12.9 inch form-factor would be more voluminous from a battery perspective, and thus would take even longer to charge than the iPad hardware we have today.

Of course, the report was subjected to the following statement:

Apple, which works with suppliers to test new technology and designs all the time, could opt not to proceed with some of the features when it starts mass producing the device later.

This means that only one, two, or perhaps none of the rumors may actually materialize on the schematics that hit production lines when manufacturing begins. But, if these rumors are true, then the iPad Pro would be the first iOS device to sport a USB port. It would also be the first iOS device to support a mouse.

Source

Microsoft is also working on a smart watch!

Microsoft is working on a touch-enabled smartwatch, reports The Wall Street Journal.Citing unnamed supply chain sources, The Journal claims that Microsoft asked Asian suppliers to ship components for the device. If the reports are true, it would be joining the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google, and others looking to capitalize on a forecasted boom in wearable electronics. Microsoft has so far refused to comment on the rumors.

This wouldn’t be Microsoft’s first shot at making a smartwatch. Back in 2004 it fielded a product under the name SPOT that used FM radio signals to send instant messages from Windows Messenger, news headlines, stock information, and weather forecasts as part of a paid subscription service.

But production stopped in 2008, and the SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) project was finally canceled last year. Interestingly, Microsoft researcher Bill Buxton spoke at length on the 37-year history of smartwatcheslast month, possibly foreshadowing a return to the market.

The news comes days after a bleak report from IDC last week claiming that Q1 2013 marked the steepest decline ever for the PC industry, down 13.9 percent over Q1 2012, a trend that apparently accelerated rather than slowed with the release of Windows 8. It’s also the second significant leak in the report’s aftermath — last week The Journalreported that Redmond was also working on a 7-inch Surface tablet due later this year.

Next iPhone will come out at the end of summer with at least a 4″ screen !

Wall Street Journal’s secretive but usually connected “sources familiar with the matter” reconfirmed what everyone plus doggie are expecting from the major iPhone edition this fall – it will have a larger screen.

The production of those displays has apparently been poised to start next month, which makes sense if Apple would want to put it all together towards the end of the summer.
 
The WSJ report did not pinpoint a screen size, but the sources have mentioned it will be no less than 4″. Now we’ve analyzed ad nauseaum how today’s phones can have larger screens and still be as compact, light and durable as the ones with smaller screens of yesterday, so that’s what might be going on here with Apple’s 2012 iPhone.
Considering that Apple is very adamant that people still reach everywhere on the screen with their thumb during one-handed operation, instead of having to use two palms, a 4-incher would be the sweet spot.
Its other selling points are said to be thin metal chassis and LTE connectivity, as well as all the goodies that will come with iOS 6, like the rumored homebrew Maps software Apple is allegedly prepping for its gadgets.

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