Supply chain sources note today that while Apple is ready to sell its iPad Pro in November, it has only placed limited orders with suppliers prior to the end of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, showing that Apple is taking a rather conservative attitude about the sales of the product.
The iPad Pro is priced starting US$799-1,079 and with the Apple Pencil (US$99) and the Smart Keyboard (US$169), the cheapest combination is priced at US$1,067, a point, which is rather difficult to attract demand. This was echoed in a recent 9to5Mac report saying that the iPad Pro was far too expensive for students yet great for teachers. On the flip side, professional artists and enterprise users on-the-go may think it's a bargain.
According to the supply chain report, Apple has currently only placed orders for fewer than 2.5 million units for the iPad Pro before the end of 2015 and the volume for the first quarter of 2016 is expected to be even lower if demand for the device during the year-end holidays is weaker than expected.
And yet it would seem to be prudent on Apple's part to control initial expectations considering that Microsoft only reported $672 million worth of Surface tablets this past quarter which would roughly represent 650-675,000 devices at an average selling price of $1030. In that context, the iPad Pro's first run would seem rather healthy out of the gate. It's really a story of whether you see the glass half empty or half full.