There have been reports from analysts who have their sources in the Apple supply chain that Cupertino is busy trailing 13-inch iPad and that it may launch its big-screened tablet sometime in 2014. Apple has been giving out all the signs that led us to believe that the company may very well launch 13-inch iPad.
64-bit Apple A7 processor
Apple equipped the iPhone 5S with a desktop class 64-bit A7 processor – something that a smartphone wouldn’t actually require to carry out day to day tasks that a user demands. Why would then Apple decide to fit such a processor in a smartphone? Apple’s main aim was to use the iPhone 5S as a test bed and launch pad for its powerful processor; the final destination for which was laptop-tablet hybrids or a larger iPad to be precise. The 64-bit processor is capable of performing all desktop-level tasks including word processing, number crunching, high-end gaming, graphics processing, video processing, and a lot more. Having a larger 13-inch iPad powered by A7 makes perfect sense.
Larger display panels in production
There have been reports from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Macotakara, and DisplaySearch that a 13-inch iPad was already in production and that it will debut sometime in 2014. There have been reports that Quanta – a long time Apple partner – has been building these iPads. Further, reports from the supply chain have also indicated existence of 12.9-inch panels capable of 2,732 x 1,536 resolution which will also debut in 2014.
Apple has been busy filing patent applications for designs which signal the existence of a dock that would turn an iPad into an iMac; a keyboard, which when attached to an iPad will turn it into something similar to the Microsoft Surface tablets. There have been reports of a Smart Cover capable of running on solar power and packing extra battery packs to enhance the battery life of the iPad. Such accessories will definitely be great for the current iPads, but they make more sense when there is something which is bigger and would allow users to carry out computing tasks they would normally carry out on their desktops and laptops.
Declining Desktop PC, Laptop sales
IDC, Gartner and other research firms have been blowing the trumpets of plummeting PC and laptop sales and with six quarters of straight decline the effects have been seen in Apple’s camp as well. MacBook and iMac sales have been declining steadily. Tablets have been cannibalizing PC sales and MacBook Pro and iMac haven’t been immune – even iPads are partly responsible for this. So, a larger 13-inch iPad would definitely be something that would bring the MacBook Pro and iMac Android converts back to Apple’s camp thereby allowing Cupertino to not only gain new sales, but also offset some of the declining PC sales.
Denial first, acceptance later
Apple has been defiant about smaller iPads and yet it launched the iPad Mini and eventually managed to give the 7-inch Android tablets a run for their money. Same was the case with ‘plastic’ smartphones. Apple considered such phones as against its brand reputation, but with the release of iPhone 5C it changed that as well. Steve Jobs would have certainly weeded out the idea of a plastic smartphone from day one; however, with changing times Apple changed its strategy and here it is with the cheap (not actually!) and colourful iPhone 5C. Two examples – one iPad and one iPhone – strongly indicate that the idea of larger iPad, which Tim Cook has been denying since long, would definitely click some or the other time and find its way onto market shelves in the form of a 13-inch iPad.