Friday, August 9, 2013

13" iPad - If Apple Can Make This, Maybe Retina Macbook Air Won't Be Too Far Off

I don't know how I feel about carry around a 12" or 13" iPad (a 13" version is widely being reported as something Apple is looking hard at).  I suppose I will learn to like it.  I'm sure it'll be light enough and capable of doing more in terms of productivity than today's 9.7" iPad or the iPad mini.  And if that's the case, I'm probably for it and may even buy one.

Right now, I'm on the 11.6" Macbook Air as I write this post.  A 12" or 13" iPad would have a slightly bigger screen, not to mention that it'll probably have a Retina Display that even late-2010 Air and the current models does not support.

I'm talking about this now for a couple of reasons. One, more and more people I know want one. Especially the older folks in my life, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  Including my mom.  For whatever reason, they want Candy Crush bigger and brighter than it already is on the iPad.

Another reason is that even as the market races to the bottom in terms of screen sizes and prices, having a bigger screen gives Apple an opportunity to have a premium product and be able to charge more for it and maintain industry leading margin.  For the average mobile warrior like ourselves, we don't care one bit but for the market, bloggers, and narcissistic pundits, it's kinda important.

And lastly, hate to say it, there is more chatter about it in one form or another - rumors, insiders, and supply lines all point to Apple testing a bigger screen iPad.  And rightfully so.  Apple probably has gone through dozens if not hundreds of screen sizes before settling on the 9.7" screen for the iPad and 8.75" screen for the iPad mini.

I'm sure Apple engineers and designers have also tested bigger screens than the 13" version. Maybe even screens closer to 20" as well.  And why not? There probably will be a niche demand for it.  More importantly, it's research that Apple has go conduct so that it can learn from it.

And while no one but Apple's higher-ups know whether it'll release an iPad with a screen bigger than the 9.7", I'm betting that it'll happen.  Not 2013 but 2014 seems plausible only because work on the iPad and iPad mini will be easier to deal with and for Apple engineers and programmers to move on putting more attention on designing a bigger screen iPad.

Still, this is only a speculative post on my part.  Others have taken things a step further beyond reading about bigger iPad rumors.  Macrumors, aptly named, has a mockup of what a 13" iPad will look like relative to its smaller siblings (yes, it does sound like I have arrived at a conclusion that Apple will indeed release this iPad, doesn't it?) and the Macbook Air.

The mock-up of this 13" iPad next to the Macbook Air shows just how far Apple has come (or could come) with the tablet compared to the traditional laptop form factor.

The question then becomes just how will the market receive such a device, how it fits into Apple's mobile vision and philosophy, and what it could mean for the Macbook Air.  Apple will not design and release a 13" iPad for the sake of doing it.  So, we'll have to see if the designers feel that there are needs that are not currently addressed by the current iPad line and how the users will benefit from a bigger screened tablet.

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