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Why it would make sense for Apple to debut a larger iPad in 2015

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Apple’s iPhone might not be the only iOS device to get a bigger screen: a trio of Bloomberg reporters are suggesting that Apple will debut a 12.9-inch iPad in early 2015. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this rumor, so it’s possible it’s just that: A rumor. Still, there’s merit to the idea of a larger iPad, although a 12.9-inch model could have wider appear than a 24-inch version.

ipad air wide

For one thing, the rate of iPad sales has slowed a bit over the past quarter or two. It’s possible that most people who want a 7.9- or 9.7-inch iPad already have one and aren’t willing to drop several hundred dollars more on a slightly refreshed model. But a 12.9-inch iPad is a completely different device, and that could spur sales.

Such a product could also help more people transition from a traditional computing device to a tablet, particularly if iOS 8 brings support for running multiple apps on screen at the same time. The benefit of this multitasking is more evident on a larger-screened device: It could work on the iPad mini but would work better on a tablet with a bigger display.

Again, like so many other [company]Apple[/company] reports, this is conjecture for now. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Apple introduces a larger iPad within the next six months. It would surely give the company’s tablet sales a boost while also giving people one less reason to buy a traditional computer. Of course, Apple is willing to sell those too, but iOS devices now make up far more of the company’s revenues and profits.

9 Responses to “Why it would make sense for Apple to debut a larger iPad in 2015”

  1. Jason McKenzie

    I’m not buying anything else Mac except an iPhone until they have something touch-enabled WITH a good physical keyboard and real processing power. Apple is way behind on this, and they are starting to look like the followers that Microsoft and Samsung have been for the last 10 years.

  2. Travis Henning

    I’m skeptical, but would not be completely surprised. It could be successful if the device were Surface Pro-esque with a really good keyboard attahment. Possible alternative to the MacBook Air. But will iOS provide enough of a productivity boost to justify it as a OS X replacement? Or would it be the springboard device that coherently melds iOS and OS X?

    • Nolberto L.

      I agree. It could be successful if done right. Making the current iPad bigger isn’t enough. It has to be capable of running good productivity apps, something that could compete with the full program versions that exist on the Surface Pro. I personally wouldn’t buy a Surface pro because of the lack of apps, but I love how productive it can be running Office, Photoshop, and having a precision stylus. Apple on the other hand has the apps, and OS to back it up, it just needs the right medium to get the iPad to be more productive. A Larger screen, physical keyboard, and dare I say maybe even a precision stylus combined with productivity apps that aren’t watered down would be awesome. I many people would say, why not just buy a MacBook, well I currently use a laptop for editing documents and spreadsheets, but i prefer my iPad for taking handwritten notes during meetings (with a stylus), and I also use it to have my notes in front of me during speeches. Having a bigger, more productive iPad would let me carry one device for all my needs.

  3. How is this larger iPad going to help iPad sales? Didn’t Samsung introduce one of those oversize tablets earlier in the year and I’ve yet to hear about any increased amount of sales. In fact, I’ve heard nothing at all about it so there really couldn’t be any good news. Do you know what the computer industry wants now? Cheap Chromebooks. Just like the hordes before who sold cheap Windows netbooks, the manufacturers are all going to bust their asses trying to out-cheap one another with Chromebooks. Wall Street is all for that disposable junk because they generate huge amounts of sales from consumers who think they’re getting some great bargain of the century. Some $1000 mega-iPad is going to be cursed and spat at as the critics and pundits claim Apple doesn’t know anything about what consumers want and Apple’s death watch will be as strong as ever.

  4. Nicholas Paredes

    A larger iPad will require greater functionality. We are nearly ready for the power of tablets to meet the laptop head on. Will Apple enable greater use of storage capacity? Will they enable a mouse in a desktop mode?

    I am prepared to ditch my iPad, simply because it is mostly an either or situation. MacBook Air? iPad? When I manage, the iPad is fine. when I have to produce work or use Excel, the MacBook wins. With Excel the Windows partition wins.

    I would pay for a Mac Mini that uses the 12″ iPad as a monitor. I would pay for an iPad that could match the functionality of the Mac. I get it that we’re not there yet. But, I wrote long ago that we would see collaborative processing. Call it cloud. Call it OSes that change based on context and utilize desktop resources. But, I have work to do.

  5. Hank Lavagnini

    “But a 12.9-inch iPad is a completely different device…” Why? “…and that could spur sales.” How? I don’t see a usage model for a bigger iPad. While I can appreciate Jeff’s view as a musician, I don’t think that’s going to be enough. I could be wrong, but I haven’t read anything yet that makes a convincing case.

    • Fair question. :)

      The way I see it, productivity directly affected by both input and output options on any mobile device. I *could* do my full time writing job on an iPad mini, for example, but with the smaller screen and correspondingly small keyboard, it would take longer than on my iPad Air. Even that’s a bit cramped though. Switch to a 12.9-inch iPad — about the same size as my 12.85-inch Chromebook Pixel and it’s far more comfortable on the eyes and fingers.

      I’d never consider replacing my traditional notebook with an iPad mini. I could do with a larger iPad, however.

      I don’t think my use case is that unique, either. I’ve seen a number of folks that have replaced their computers with Samsung’s 12-inch Galaxy Tab Pro, for example, because the size is better suited for most everything they do. Plus it supports multitasking with multiple apps on screen; useful on the larger display. I strongly suspect that will be a key feature on a larger iPad.