Report claims 12.9-inch panel for larger iPad already in production, release early next year

Mockup by T3
Mockup by T3

<a href="">Mockup by T3</a>

The Korea Times is reporting that a “first tier display supplier” is already manufacturing a 12.9 inch panel for iPads. According to the report, Apple is looking to bring the bigger iPad to market sometime “early next year”…

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The official said Apple is increasingly interested in introducing bigger iPads as the U.S.-based consumer electronics giant is already acknowledging that tablets will replace PCs in an era of convergence.

“The 12.9-inch iPad will have improved picture quality. As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD,” said the official.

In support of this report, rumours of a larger iPad have been swirling over the last few months. The Wall Street Journal said that Apple was testing iPads measuring ‘slightly less’ than 13 inches,  back in July. More recently, a questionable report from DisplaySearch claimed that an iPad featuring a 2732×2048 12.9 inch is scheduled for 2014. The screen resolution quoted by DisplaySearch corroborates with the Korea Times claim that the upcoming iPad will provide a ‘very clear quality’.

Therefore, the possibility of a larger iPad is not a ridiculous claim. However, it should be noted that the Korea Times’ claim that Apple is preparing to launch the new form factor early next year is currently not backed up by other sources. Therefore, the reliability of this latter statement is very circumspect.

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  1. Mark Thomson (@TameGeek) - 9 years ago

    Say it with me – MacBook Air Retina – There we go. All cleared up.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      Yep, far more likely.

    • Pierre Calixte - 9 years ago

      Great guess and i would agree with you if they didn’t change the name of the ipad to ipad air. That name change opens space for an ipad pro to be named. I think that’s the direction they are going in.

      Also why would apple manufacturer a new retina size when they are already have a 13.3 inch screen that they could just drop into the MBA? what difference would saving .4 inches make?

    • Jake (@apcorom) - 9 years ago

      I want an Macbook Air Retina :D

  2. kpom1 - 9 years ago

    Sounds interesting. It looks increasingly like Apple is taking the opposite approach from Microsoft. Instead of trying to scale down a desktop operating system to run on mobile devices, they want to scale up their existing mobile OS to become more powerful. I wonder if the “iPad Pro” will have a souped up A7 or A7X?

  3. This will be the iPadro, then…

  4. My guess is it’s not happening. The iPad is already on the sweet spot of size vs functionality.

    I’d be cumbersome to have a 13″ tablet. Not comfortable to type on, a bit heavy. My guess and wish: rMBA.

    Owning a MBA and having played with the latest rMBP… I still prefer the MBA. If they make it Retina… I won’t need anything else.

  5. John Nugent - 9 years ago

    If this is a screen for a rMBA, why not just use the 13″ rMBP screen on the Air’s hardware? I could believe an iPad Pro is in the works, but my hope would be for something that uses a converged “OSX-i”

  6. Ramon Solorio - 9 years ago

    I really hope this happens. Music production apps will be stellar on a larger screen.

    • hmurchison - 9 years ago

      This. Music production is quite tactile and Touch Screen technology serves it well. Those that think a Retina MBP and a larger iPad are redundant are failing to see the advantages that Touch offers in digital arts (painting, drawing etc) as well as music. Much like people panned the idea of a smaller iPad incorrectly there are some equally unaware of the productivity benefits of a larger iPad.

  7. Paul Kerr - 9 years ago

    My first question is, how big is the market? The built-in market is artists, the stretch market is laptop users. (I include designers, photographers, video editors, etc, in artists.) The artist market for a product might support a super-high margin, niche product. If it is adopted by laptop users as a replacement, then it could become a high-volume product.

    My second question is, why a 4:3 form factor rather than 16:9? There would still be considerable screen space above an on-screen keyboard and a majority of users might use a physical keyboard most of the time. Better to go with 16:9 and make it the prototype for the Apple TV home computer and an additional screen for viewing TV and movies. It would also be smaller and cheaper, with fewer pixels than a 4:3 12.9-inch display.

    • Paul Kerr - 9 years ago

      One more thing, for the MacBook Air users, if most of your Mac OS apps were available on a big iPad, would your next laptop purchase be a Mac? So another key factor will be the developer tools to help get software ported to the iPad’s ARM CPU. The A7 and its successors will have the horsepower.

      Or, might Apple go deep and add x86 extensions to the CPU so some Mac apps that follow a strict set of guidelines on installation package and APIs run natively. Let’s say any app in the Mac App Store could run on the big iPad, would your next computer purchase still be a Mac?

      • hmurchison - 9 years ago

        Xcode already lets developers target Intel or ARM via LLVM. Most of the API are converging but Apple hasn’t made any effort toward merging the input methods (i.e touch versus Mouse/Keyboard). I think a larger iPad just delivers an option for people that doesn’t exist currently with the Mac lineup. Large screen yet touch based.

  8. rettun1 - 9 years ago

    A bigger screen would definitely make it a better productivity device. And apple is really pushing for content creation on these things

  9. Davide Manca - 9 years ago

    Dear all, somebody is forgetting the very very large world of industry/office/work.
    What about having a screen the SAME size (almost) of an A4/US letter sheet?
    This is what people, who work all the day on electronic documents such as PDF, really want.
    Then there should also be a physical ePen (like the one in Samsung Note) to take notes (written) and to draw on the PDF files and the like. The original idea from Steve Jobs of banning any electronic device is rather obsolete at least as far as the industry/production/office world is concerned.
    There is a huge community out of there waiting for this innovation. Come on Apple! Let us dream!!!

  10. If true, I hope it’s an iPad sized screen stretched in landscape to 16:9, this way not messing with the height of landscape apps. The room on the side should be used for an iPhone-width app that stretches to the top and bottom for more content OR a permanent app switcher.

    Just a bigger 3:4 screen doesn’t really make any sense, and a 16:9 display with 2 apps split in the middle would be a catastrophe for all the perfectly optimised apps that make the iPad unique.

    But most of all, I hope this rumor is false.

  11. tallestskil - 9 years ago

    Been saying this since 2008. Apple will make a 13” tablet. Eventually they’ll start to kill off their laptops entirely.

  12. cafesitter (@cafesitter) - 9 years ago

    I review reports and write review comments with adonit stylus as mark up of PDF a lot. For me tge 13 inch would be the size of the A4 paper and we could throw the office printers out. Not all of us can use Mac in the office but under BYOD policies most people can bring ipad to work… Bring it on apple and dont forget tOuch ID this time;)

  13. Tim Clayton - 9 years ago

    History seems to repeat itself. Apple was close to failing without Steve because their products line were getting ever more complex. The first thing Steve did when he came back to Apple was simplify the computers into 4 quadrants: mobile/consumer(ibook), mobile/pro(powerbook), desktop/consumer(imac), and desktop/pro(Power Mac).

    Apple is starting to expand their range of products their phone range has 2 brand new devices, the ipad line has 4 (2 retina, and 2 non retina models). The same thing with the laptop range macbook air, macbook retina, macbook retina.

    When the Retina Macbook pro line was announced it was introduced as “the future of the Macbook” It should have replaced the macbook line at the very next update instead of joining the line as another option.

    Bring a third ipad to market and Apple will not only prove that they learned nothing from their near death in the 90s but they also dilute their ability to innovate by focusing on a small number of products

    • hmurchison - 9 years ago

      Patently false. The Quadrant approach did little to resurrect Apple. The important thing was to deliver compelling products and the original Bondi Blue iMac and then iPod success had more to do with Apple’s resurgence. People are are adept and navigating through a family of products even more so today than a decade ago.

  14. Winski - 9 years ago

    Wanna bet??

  15. Pierre Calixte - 9 years ago

    One great thing about a larger ipad is that if you already have macbook, you get a great second portable monitor. I’ve grown accustomed to using two screens at home and it would be great to be able to hit the road with a second monitor. You basically would have your desktop rig everywhere you go.

  16. Leon Oliveri - 9 years ago

    Include wacom pen stylus then I am totally sold. Hopefully this will not push the price up but since this is apple they will probably do so.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.