Apple Said To Work Up ‘Professional’ Version Of The iPad

As an industry struggles to match Apple’s iPad success in the growing but hot tablet market, could Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) already have plans to branch out with a new version of the iPad with a crisper screen aimed at the professional market?

That’s what This Is My Next suggested Thursday, writing that Apple has a new iPad in the works scheduled for introduction later this year, probably around the time that Apple unveils a new iPhone. The device, which will supposedly be called the iPad HD, is said to have a “double resolution screen” checking in at 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels, and would be accompanied by an iPad version of Final Cut Pro, according to the report.

Suggestions that a third iPad was on the way in 2011 have surfaced before, with many Apple watchers split over whether this device would have a screen good enough for Apple to attach the Retina Display label it uses for the iPhone 4. Such a device would be an interesting take on the market, however, given that it could introduce complexity for application developers trying to make sure their apps run on both the professional and regular iPad models.

This Is My Next suggested thinking about the new iPad as the Macbook Pro of the iPad lineup, compared to the iPad 2 as the regular Macbook. Without knowing exactly how the specs will line up (or, of course, whether or not the thing actually exists) it’s difficult to forecast the impact on the tablet market, but Apple may have decided not to give rivals any chance to carve out niche categories for themselves.