iPad Pro 12.9-Inch Tablet Release Date Pushed Back To 2015; iPad Air Upgrade only in 2014 – Rumors

International Digital Times staff cite the usually-reliable KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo maintaining that he doesn’t believe Apple will launch a 12.9″ panel iPad Pro in 2014 at all, but rather plans to launch an upgraded iPad Air this year instead, and will accelerate development of 12.9″ iPad as well for a 2015 release. Mr. Kuo believes “the only new iPad product in 2H14 will be the upgraded iPad Air,” which is projected to have a next-gen A8 processor as well as a Touch ID fingerprint sensor by the end of Q3 2014.

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Meanwhile, Digitimes Research’s Jim Hsiao says the Taiwan-based IT news site has learned that Google is set to release at least two new Nexus tablets in 2014, with an 8.9-inch model already under development and set to enter mass production in July. The 8.9-inch tablet features a display resolution of more than 2K.

Hsaio observes that although Google may still release a smaller-size model in 2014, its strategy of skipping most of the sizes in the 8-inch range and going for an 8.9-inch display – a size that colud be categorized as a near large-size tablet (9-inch and above) – indicates a shift in focus to large-size tablet applications.

He notes that in 2013, Android had an over 50% share in the small-to medium-size brand tablet market and is expected to achieve further growth in 2014 as brand vendors turn to push 8-inch tablets. Digitimes Research also believes that the 7-inch category will continue to see shipment growth, thanks to strong demand for models with phone functions,.

However, Hsaio notes that in the large-size brand tablet market, Android only accounted for around 30% in 2013 and its shipments amounted to only half of those of iPads. Windows also trailed behind with around 10% market share.

And because of Google’s disadvantages in the large-size brand tablet market, Digitimes Research believes the release of the 8.9-inch Nexus – a product with a good price/performance ratio, sufficient mobility, and a strategic position between the large-size and small- to medium-size segments – may motivate the rest of Android camp to also skip the 8-inch segment and head for the large-size segment.

Digitimes Research believes if the 8.9-inch Nexus can be priced at around US$299 and if Android 5.0, which may be released at the Google I/O in June, is able to feature more Android tablet-only applications, it should help the 8.9-inch Nexus tablet achieve a breakthrough in the large-size tablet market.

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