Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) could introduce a drastic change to the screen size and form factor of its flagship tablet and smartphone line-up as the company is rumored to release a larger iPad in the second half of 2014, while a bigger iPhone could hit the market in the summer.
According to a new report from Taiwan’s DigiTimes on Monday, Apple could launch the next-generation iPad, presumably called the iPad 6, with a 12.9-inch screen, next October. The bigger iPad, which is expected to target the North American educational market, would be manufactured by Quanta Computer (TPE:2382), a Taiwan-based manufacturer of notebook computers and other electronic hardware.
The DigiTimes report also said that Apple originally debated between a 12.9-inch and 13.3-inch panel for the iPad 6, before settling on the 12.9-inch form factor. Referring to Samsung’s (KRX:005935) rumored plans to release 12-inch to 13-inch tablets, the report also stated that such large-screen tablets could ultimately hurt the demand for ultrabook models.
It was South Korean site, ETNews that first mentioned in May that a 12.9-inch iPad was in the works. The rumor was later supported by the Wall Street Journal in July, which said that Apple had asked its suppliers for screen designs measuring slightly under 13 inches, for a new iPad model.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced about a bigger iPad claiming that Apple was testing five different iPad models with a 12.9-inch screen. According to the rumors, the company might launch an iPad version with a 2K resolution screen in the first half of 2014, and follow it up with another version -- this time with a 4K resolution screen -- after a few months.
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As for the next-generation smartphone, unofficially dubbed the iPhone 6, the DigiTimes report in question said that Apple is planning a larger iPhone for May 2014, which is likely to feature a 20nm processor manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC, (NYSE:TSM).
The rumors about a bigger iPhone 6 have been around for quite some time now. Bloomberg reported last month that Apple may release two new models of the iPhone in the third quarter of 2014, with both versions featuring “larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges.”
While a bigger iPhone 6 is not an unlikely move from Apple, the only theory that is hard to buy is the device’s May release as the company has never launched an iPhone at that time of the year. In addition, releasing an iPhone in the first half of the year will also break its tradition of launching new iPhones in the fall, which helps Apple target the holiday-buying frenzy.