With not much left on the slate for 2013, the rumor hounds are already sniffing out Apple’s supposed plans for next year. Along with bigger iPhones, we have heard rumors of a larger iPad on Apple’s roadmap, but how likely is the possibility, really?
The latest comes from PadNews and a report that Foxconn is already working up prototypes of an Apple tablet that could feature either a 12.9-inch or 11.4-inch display. The tablet could debut as early as March 2014.
While Apple prides itself on the consistent experience across devices, which includes a mobile lineup with predictable screen dimensions, there is reason to believe Apple is, at the very least, considering the introduction of a larger tablet. Analysts point to devices like Microsoft’s Surface driving a market for devices that more closely straddle the line between laptop and tablet.
It’s also worth considering the 64-bit architecture of Apple’s A7 chip, which may have been introduced more as a means of future-proofing devices like the iPhone 5S and iPad Air rather than to provide immediate benefits. Moving to 64-bit, typically the configuration found in home computers and laptops, could foreshadow Apple’s plans to launch a convertible tablet/laptop hybrid.
Of course, Tim Cook poked fun at that device category at the recent iPad unveiling event, saying it only highlighted the confusion of Apple’s competitors. Launching a tablet hybrid next year wouldn’t be the first time an Apple exec backtracked on their words, however.