New rumors regarding Apple’s large-screen iPad Plus claim the company has requested silver nanowire material samples from a number of display suppliers. Panels using this technology are said to be more flexible than tradition touch panels and could allow Apple to equip its business-minded tablet with the type of Force Touch technology currently found on the Apple Watch.
Apple has famously shunned the use of styluses with its products but given the productivity potential of a large-screen iPad and the new nanowire material rumors, the iPad Plus could be the first device to include, or at least encourage the use of, a stylus.
In addition to its increased sensitivity, the nanowire material is said to cost less to produce than traditional panels. This could help pad Apple’s margin on the product even more or conversely, allow the company to offer the slate – already expected to be quite expensive – at a slightly cheaper price.
Elsewhere, the iPad Plus is expected to include a sapphire glass covering over the display, NFC connectivity as well as a USB Type-C connector like the one found on the new MacBook. Sources also indicate an 11,000mAh battery could power the tablet. For reference, the current iPad Air 2 uses a much smaller 7,240mAh power pack.
Originally thought to hit retail sometime this year, the latest rumors indicate Apple has pushed the launch date back to 2016.