12.9-inch iPad expected early next year


Earlier this year, Tim Cook told members of the press that he does about 80% of his work on an iPad. If that’s true, then he’s probably going to get a bit more productive in the next six months: Apple’s expected to unveil a 12.9-inch iPad by early 2015.

The latest confirmation was reported to Bloomberg and it follows earlier tips provided to the Wall Street Journal and Korea Times. At this point, it seems like we’re just waiting for the invites to go out.

12.9 inches…won’t that make the new biggest iPad the same size as the screen on a 13-inch MacBook Air? Not quite. The 13-incher has a 16:10 display (and it’s really 13.3 inches), whereas iPads are 4:3. If Apple keeps things in line with the iPad mini and iPad air, then the screen on a 12.9-inch iPad will measure about 10.3″ by 7.7″.

When you add in the requisite grip-friendly bezel, that should make the 12.9-inch roughly the size of a piece of standard letter paper. Convenient, especially since it will slide nicely into the kinds of fancy, high-end leather organizers toted around by so many mid- and high-level executives.

And that’s probably Apple’s target customer for an “iPad Pro.” A larger Retina display would no doubt be coveted by medical imaging professionals, designers, photographers — pretty much the same folks who are attracted to the MacBook Pro. With the ink barely dry on Apple’s enterprise agreement with IBM, the timing couldn’t be better.

At one point, industry analysts were murmuring about a fall 2014 launch, but now those same sources say that it just isn’t feasible. Apple needs the additional time to polish iOS for the larger screen, and that’s a reasonable assumption: the taller iPhone 5 necessitated numerous changes in iOS 6 back in 2012.

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