After the release of the smaller and thiner iPad Mini the paradigm of one size fits all tablets for Apple is broken. So it was not a surprise the rumors that the company from Cupertino is gearing up for a larger tablets. Bloomberg’s report from last week suggests that Apple’s suppliers are preparing for manufacturing a bigger and meaner iPads with 12.9 inches screen. The current models uses 9.7 inches for the traditional version of the tablet and 7.9 inches screen for the Mini. The production of the new tablet is expected to begin from the first quarter of 2014 which means that it could hit the shops around the spring of the next year. How reliable is this rumor?
Well, it is very plausible. Maybe Apple will not show it during it’s September event, but we will be not surprised if it be reveal in January. Not because Bloomberg reported the rumor, but the whole state of the tablet market. Until now the race in this segment was for the ordinary consumers, who prefer to have a device which they could use for browsing, watching videos, reading books, playing games and etc. Tablets with screen size of 7 to 10 inches serves perfectly for such tasks. But the demand is wading and for reigniting the companies will need to target new types consumers. Think about business and power users, which have bigger requirements about productivity. They need bigger screens, precision in executing the tasks, more functional apps and enhanced multitasking. Microsoft already tries the market with their Surface Pro 3 tablet with mixed to poor results. The business is needing bigger tablets, which will not replace the desktops but improve the productivity on the move. And this is essential for the new digital era of mobility. The larger screen iPad will address this issues and also there are rumors for including a multitasking feature in the new iOS 8 for tablets.
So it is logical for Apple to add a bigger iPad in its product portfolio and to aim for the corporate sector. The company already tries to sell its iPads for the corporate world, but like Microsoft the results are not so positive as it expected. The business sector is more conservative than the consumer. There are indirect hints from the Cupertino giant. Apple made a partnership with IBM for developing business apps and offering iPads for its customers. If we have bigger tablets that will be more easy task for the company. But there are some obstacles. The most notable is that iPad gets head to head against the smaller MacBook Airs in the productivity category. So maybe we will see either the two devices cannibalizing each others shares or Apple will stop selling it’s smaller laptops. It will be tough choice for the company because there is a surge in the Mac’s sales in the last quarters. So we will have further hints when the IT giant shows off it’s refurbish MacBook Air portfolio.
Final verdict – the rumor is very plausible, but if we see a bigger iPad it will not be early than the next year.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee