12.9-inch iPad rumor is back with launch date, early launch for larger size iPhone included


Mockups: T3

Rumors of a larger iPad have been bouncing around since May (complete with the world’s silliest name). They gained credibility (minus the name) when reported by the WSJ in July, and our poll certainly suggests there would be demand for it, with 24 percent of 9to5Mac readers declaring that they love the idea. There have, however, so far been few supporting specifics.

Digitimes is not always the most credible of sources, but it is today suggesting that the 12.9-inch iPad will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, launched in October and targeted at the education market, citing its usual anonymous “supply chain sources” … 

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

Given Apple’s commitment to the education market, with a particular focus on iBooks textbooks, a focus on the education market seems at least plausible – even if the iPads into schools move has not been entirely without glitches. However, it’s far more likely that the education market is merely one channel of interest to Apple.

While the rumors have been reasonably consistent on a 12.9-inch screen and a close-to-4K 2732×2048 resolution, there have been some sketchier suggestions that the device is already in production and set for a spring launch. Apple reversing the switch it made from spring to fall launch dates for new iPads seems highly unlikely, and this latest rumor does gain credibility points for suggesting an October launch.

It is, however, also claiming a May launch date for the rumored larger-screened iPhone, when Apple has been on a fall release schedule since the iPhone 4S in October 2011. Bloomberg suggested last month that there would be two models, with 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays.

So, 12.9-inch iPad, maybe more likely than not by this point; 2732×2048 resolution, makes sense; October launch, if it’s happening, then yep; education target, as one of many markets, sure – as a sole focus, no. New iPhones in May, highly unlikely.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. 2048×1536 is the current Retina resolution, how does 2732×2048 work for 4K? Shouldn’t it be 4096×3072? There are multiple resolutions, but shouldn’t the horizontal be at least close to 4K?

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      Full 4K doesn’t fit with iPad display ratios, and I can’t see Apple asking developers to support an extra one for one model of iPad

      • If it was double the vertical and horizontal resolutions of the current iPad Retinas, then the ratio wouldn’t change. I doubt they’d make a widescreen iPad, but then again, Apple makes the rules for their products.

      • pucagaeilge - 9 years ago

        Apple is pushing developers to use Auto Layout, and you could letterbox an existing iPad app in an iPad Pro just as smaller iPhone apps letterboxed in the iPhone 5. More analysis here: http://loumiranda.com/2013/12/23/do-enterprises-want-a-13-inch-ipad-pro/

      • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

        Could be done, but it would be a messy solution – I can’t see Apple opting for it

      • Marc Plus (@stakwild) - 9 years ago

        @BeyondtheTech Doubling the resolution only helps when the screen size doesn’t change, because the same exact layout and touch target sizes can be used, with the OS taking care of multiplying legacy coordinates automatically. Note how the iPad didn’t use a multiple of the iPhone resolution (it wouldn’t have helped at all except for making blown up versions of the apps, something we don’t want).

        A 12.9″ iPad implies a major screen size change, which will require layout changes anyway, those will be handled automatically by those who implemented the auto-layout APIs already, but will require some more work for those who didn’t.

        One thing I don’t see Apple doing, is go over 326 PPI because it would then require a lot more work to make touch targets and button bigger to compensate and create new higher density versions of bitmap elements just for the big iPad version, something that’s not handled by auto-layout APIs.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      iPad is 4:3 and should remain that way. 16:9 doesn’t fully fit, nor should it.

  2. Stetson - 9 years ago

    It seems that information about which products are going to be produced is usually much better than the release date estimates.

    A larger iPad and larger-screen iPhone both make sense as products, but I really doubt the suggested release dates.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      The dates are one way to test the credibility of a source

      • rogifan - 9 years ago

        Which means this one has zero credibility.

    • Brad Burke - 9 years ago

      There’s always a gaping parts leak on new Apple products. Release dates are not credible within 6 months if you haven’t seen parts like the larger screen leak out yet.

  3. abdulwahab16 - 9 years ago

    Dual boot ?? Osx and. iOS ?? And I can dual boot windows with osx

    That’s mean osx , windows and iOS on one device ??

    • Apple will _NEVER_ release a dual boot device. Remember, iOS is a direct derivative os OS X. There’s very little work tweaking a Mac app to run on iOS, all Apple needs to do is add a bunch of libraries and a way to interact with those apps, especially those devices with 64bit chips. Hint-hint.

      • Stetson - 9 years ago

        I think that the other way around would be more likely if a combo device ever does happen. A 12.9″ iPad with an Intel Baytrail chip which runs iOS apps on top of a full version of OSX.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Absolutely ludicrous nonsense. This isn’t happening.

  4. varera (@real_varera) - 9 years ago

    Damn, we do not need a bigger phones and pads. Give us the revolutionary products, again.

    • Dan Jurak - 9 years ago

      I gotta agree. Why a bigger iPhone? It seems that the product line is going to be diluted.

      A larger iPhone is less pocketable and sure to crack the first time I put it in my jeans and accidentally sit down. The current size/screen is perfect for me.

      • MaRico NoHands Spikes - 9 years ago

        Flexible screens, apples fav aluminum structure or ‘steel band’ style, I think they would hold up against someone sitting on it, my iPhone 5 pretty solid, no average body weight bending those things.

    • Ted Morgan (@dfwtbear) - 9 years ago

      Some of us really want a bigger iPhone so we don’t have to get a Samsung (or worse) piece of junk. I think we will have 2 or 3 sizes of iPhones going forward, the market seems to be going that direction.

      • MaRico NoHands Spikes - 9 years ago

        I’d say 2, Apple not gonna follow too far and not too quick, IMO , but I love the fact they are going larger, I rather have an Apple5.5 inch then a Samsung 5.5in device,just saying. I use an iPad mini so I see no need for my phone to be over 5.5″.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        You DON’T have to get a Samsung or worse. Just don’t buy one at all; problem solved.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Don’t need bigger phones, but a larger iPad kills the laptop and gives us the desktop revolution to come.

  5. uniszuurmond - 9 years ago

    Yes and no. A 12.9″ tablet would be just too uncomfortable as a tablet. But not as a new category, between the tablet and laptop. Personally, my take is that this is the display of an all new MacBook Air, that will use an AX chip and not an Intel chip. It will redefine the laptop (again), and set an all new standard in laptop mobility with its thinness. It will run OSX, but have iPad attributes. Watch this space.

  6. uniszuurmond - 9 years ago

    As for a bigger iPhone, that will happen. The 5c will become the iPhone mini, and keep the current screen size. It will also become considerably cheaper than the new 5s, which I expect will be called the iPhone Air, and sport a 5″ or thereabouts display. This year we saw the start of the bigger picture, next year it will be completed.

  7. Jens (@jayzero1976) - 9 years ago

    so does it say ipad air? could be we are seeing an ipad pro soon.

  8. Edward Lee - 9 years ago

    I thought The Q company is making notebook not iPad series. Therefore, I think the big-pad will be more like macbook air. So, this could be the redefine the notebook, the big-pad cover will be the keyboard. This is specific target on medium and light user (household, business, school, some soho). I would also guess that Large pad will run iOS first. In the future, the iOS will take over the low end MacBook(could also take over or merge with OSX came out with new superOS). It will redefine the concept the software because everything will require even smaller program(Maverick already has smart control on low CPU consumption). Running the hardware competition is not smart move. So I would expect that smaller program, minimize hardware requirement. If I can I have iPad hardware but running as Macbook Air. This also mean lower the cost higher the margin. The price will be a killer in notebook market. It’s easier to gain more market. Android and MS, will start falling from here.

  9. People still saying we don’t need a bigger iPhone. You were also the people saying no one would buy a smaller iPad. Now the iPad mini outsells the iPad Air. Anytime I ask why someone went with an Android phone, they tell me because the iPhone screen is too small. The larger-screened iPhone will, like the iPad mini, outsell the iPhone in time too. Because like it or not, this is what the market wants. I personally would like a 5.5″ device.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear