Rumors about a bigger iPad have been around for quite some time, and the latest tidbit to join the rumor-mill suggests that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) could launch a new iPad, unofficially dubbed “iPad 6,” with a 12-inch screen, sometime this fall.
According to Patrick Wang, an analyst at Evercore Partners, a bigger 12-inch iPad could hit the market by the end of 2014, as his sources within Apple’s supply chain have confirmed the existence of the bigger iPad, MacRumors reported.
Wang’s sources revealed that the “hybrid” device would help address the gap between tablets and notebooks, and would be targeted at enterprise users. According to the analyst, the device is likely to be powered by a new A8 quad-core processor, coupled with increased storage capacity.
“Arriving in fall '14, Apple goes enterprise with a 12” iPad. Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM’s reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it,” Wang wrote in a research note, obtained by MacRumors.
According to Wang, Apple could encounter two major challenges in entering the enterprise notebook market with a larger iPad. The first hurdle is the storage capacity of the device, as the current iPad maxes out at 128 GB; the second barrier is the iPad’s lack of support for the full Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office Suite.
Microsoft is also rumored to be developing an iPad version of the Office Suite, which according to recent reports could be rolled out in the fall of this year.
Last week, Taiwan’s DigiTimes reported that Apple could release a 12.9-inch iPad in October, adding that large-screen tablets could ultimately hurt the demand for ultrabook models.
Rumors about a bigger iPad first appeared in May last year when ETNews, a South Korean site, reported that a 12.9-inch iPad was in the works. The Wall Street Journal corroborated the rumor in July, saying that Apple had asked its suppliers for screen designs measuring slightly under 13 inches, for a new iPad model.