Remember when Steve Jobs
thrashed the concept of a 7-inch tablet, calling it a tweener device that sits between a smartphone and what he viewed as a traditionally sized slate (9.7 inches)? At the time, it seemed unlikely Apple
would ever launch an iPad smaller than 9.7 inches, but then came the iPad mini
, which is giving its bigger brother a run for its money. Now there's talk that Apple might move in the opposite direction and launch an super-sized iPad device.
Korean language website ETNews.com
claims to have heard from "industry sources" that Apple is going to launch a tentatively (and comically) named "iPad Maxi" tablet with a 12.9-inch display. Should Apple stick with that name, we suspect outlets like Saturday Night Live will have a field day poking fun at it.
No matter what it's called, the real story here is the physical size of the tablet. It would be an interesting move at a time when tablet makers are downsizing their displays, though Apple is already serving two different market segments with its iPad line.
Another reason why Apple might consider a 12.9-inch iPad is to steal some customers away from purchasing a Windows-based Ultrabook (Intel) or Ultrathin (AMD). According to IDC
, tablets are in position to overtake traditional PC sales within the next several years, and a larger size slate could be just another stepping stone along the way.