Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that Apple is fixing to release a 12.9-inch tablet in October 2014, particularly targeting North America’s educational market, according to anonymous sources in the upstream supply chain.
They note that with Samsung also reportedly planning to release 12- to 13-inch tablets, the industry insiders believe these large-size tablets will greatly impact ultrabook demand.
Apple’s large-size tablet is projected to be manufactured by longtime Apple OEM supplier and engineering collaborator Quanta Computer of Taiwan, with insider speculation suggesting that it may displace the 11.6-inch MacBook Air,
Lee and Tsai also note rumors that the bigger iPad (Maxi; Pro?) will be powered by a 20nm processor manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) that will be shared by a new iPhone phablet for release in May, 2014.
My spin on this? I think a 13-inch-ish iPad seems highly plausible, especially with Samsung and possibly other Android-using competitors apparently headed in that direction, and Microsoft already sort of there with its Surface 2 and Surface Pro devices. However, as for it replacing the smaller MacBook Air, I’m dubious, at least if Apple continues refusing to budge on enabling real multitasking, multiple windowing, mouse support, and standard USB connectivity to the iPad.
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