NEW DELHI: 2014 seems to be the year that Apple will adopt big screens. While reports of bigger iPhones have been doing the rounds since early this year, latest reports say the iPad too is set to get bigger.
And Apple won’t be done with just one model.
According to a report by International Business Times Australia, the Cupertino-based company is working on a 12.9-inch iPad with high-resolution display. This model is said to combine the capabilities of the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro in a keyboard-less format.
Korea Times has also reported that Apple is working with one of its first-tier display suppliers to develop a 12.9-inch Retina display. This panel is being currently manufactured in Korea and features picture quality similar to that of UHD (ultra high definition) displays.
The upcoming model, currently being termed iPad Pro, will come with both 2K and 4K displays. While the former is expected to hit the market in April next year, the latter is slated to launch in October.
This falls in line with earlier rumours of Apple readying iPad with 12-inch screens next year.
Last year, Apple launched the third-generation iPad in April and followed it up with the fourth-generation model in October. Then in February this year, it launched the 128GB variant of the fourth-generation, improving only the storage while retaining the rest of the configuration. Therefore, Apple launching more than one iPad model in a year will not be a surprise.
Apple is reportedly interested in making professional-grade iPads because it acknowledges that tablets are steadily replacing computers in today’s “era of convergence.”
Manufacturers like Dell, Asus, Acer etc have been developing Windows 8-based hybrid computers that offer the functionality of a laptop and the portability of a tablet. However, these products have not tasted much success, whereas the tablet market has been booming across the globe.
An iPad Pro model will provide the work-grade functionality that professionals require in the world’s most popular tablet ecosystem.
However, Apple is not the only one that has realized this. Arch rival Samsung is also said to be developing Android tablets with bigger screens, between 11 and 13 inches. The company has been steadily making inroads into the tablet market and had market share of 20.2% in Q3 this year, compared to Apple’s 27.1%, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. This is the narrowest difference between the market shares of the two companies in the tablet segment since the first iPad was launched.
The rumoured range of Apple tablets – likely to include only iPad Air and iPad Pro – is quite similar to that of Macbooks. The best selling Macbook series currently includes two models -Pro and Air. While Macbook Pro is aimed at professionals and comes with high-end configurations, the Macbook Air is extremely light and thin and is targeted at consumers.
Apple’s latest full-sized tablet – called iPad Air – is thinner and lighter than all previous models as well. So, a more high-end model seems likely.