12.9-inch iPad Pro has a stylus, Force Touch, A9 chip and NFC

Posted May 4, 2015 by James Walker
There have been rumours of an under-development iPad "Pro" for some time now. Over the weekend, new leaks have emerged that not only confirm the existence of the device but also reveal it to have an official stylus — just like Microsoft's Surface.
An iPad user browsing his iPad with a third-party stylus
An iPad user browsing his iPad with a third-party stylus
André Luís
The information comes from AppleInsider. A source "familiar with Apple's future product plans" revealed that the iPad Pro will have a 12.9-inch display, putting it in direct competition with Microsoft's 12-inch Surface Pro 3.
The panel will be equipped with Apple's new "Force Touch" technology found on the Apple Watch and new MacBooks. This allows the device to detect how much pressure its user is applying to the screen and perform a different action based on the firmness of the input. Force Touch is also tipped to make an appearance on the next iPhone.
The iPad Pro will purportedly have a new processor inside it, dubbed A9. Apple currently uses A8-series chips in the iPhone 6 and iPad Air. It is currently unknown how much performance advantage the A9 will give.
Perhaps of most interest though is that the source also revealed that the iPad Pro will ship with an included stylus. This will connect to the tablet via Bluetooth and will also support pressure-sensitive input.
A stylus would enable Apple to make the iPad appeal more to power users, note-takers and artists. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 has been widely revered in technology circles for the precision that its "Surface Pen" can achieve and the productivity increase gained by being able to quickly scribble down notes by hand is undeniable.
Indeed, the iPad has been losing ground to the Surface recently. Unlike previous generations, the Surface Pro 3 has sold strongly. It is also now available at a lower cost in the form of its baby sibling which drops the "Pro" in the name but still supports the Surface Pen.
Other details revealed by AppleInsider include the presence of a USB Type-C port and NFC in the iPad Pro. The site speculates that this could allow an iPad to work as a payment terminal, accepting card payments for goods in small stores, or for the simple pairing of accessories like the Bluetooth stylus.