KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is usually dead right with his predictions on upcoming Apple products. But lately, his predictions have been whoppers. First, Kuo predicted that Apple would ditch Intel chips in the Mac for ARM by 2016, and now, he’s predicting that the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be the first to ship with a stylus. If true, Steve Jobs might just roll over in his grave.
Here’s the nut of Kuo’s logic. With its bigger screen, the iPad Pro isn’t going to be for casual users, who will likely stay with the iPad Air and iPad mini. Instead, artistic types and creatives will gravitate towards the iPad Pro. To appeal to these users even more, Kuo says, Apple will integrate a stylus into the iPad Pro in a more full-featured way than aftermarket solutions like the Cosmonaut. But this stylus will still be optional.
We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially. Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.
Otherwise, Kuo isn’t predicting anything major for the new iPad Pro. He says it will otherwise be largely the same as current iPads, but future models could support something called “3D handwriting” to allow users to write on their iPad Pros just by waving the stylus in the air. He predicts that the iPad Pro will go on sale roughly in the second or third quarter of this year.
If this is true, it certainly flies in the face of what Steve Jobs would have wanted, who famously said that if you see a stylus on a tablet, “they blew it.” Then again, Steve often contradicted himself when it was convenient: this is, after all, the guy who once told reporters that the iPod would never do video.