The rumor-mill about a bigger iPad got another boost on Tuesday when a Chinese website reported that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is considering a new iPad model for 2014, with Taiwan-based Foxconn (TPE:2354) preparing multiple prototypes of the device featuring 2K or 4K screen resolutions.
The latest buzz comes from PadNews, which reports that Apple is testing five different iPad models with a 12.9-inch screen. According to the report, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company may 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.
The report quoted anonymous sources as saying that the 2K resolution version of the bigger iPad could be launched in April, while the one with 4K resolution could target Apple’s usual iPad product update cycle in October.
According to Apple Insider, other than mentioning the 2K and 4K resolutions, the PadNews report did not mention any specific panel resolutions for the bigger iPad models. The newly launched iPad Air features a 9.7-inch Retina display with a 2048x1536 pixel resolution, which makes it a 2K panel.
However, considering the fact that Apple has never adopted the 16:9 aspect ratio for iPads, or full HD resolution, there is still an opportunity for the company to implement that specification in its upcoming iPad lineup. In addition, the 4K resolution could also give the new iPad exceptional sharpness at around 400 pixels per inch, iDownloadBlog reported.
Last month, a report from The Korea Times cited an official at a local Apple parts supplier as saying that a “first-tier display supplier” was producing a new iPad with a 12.9-inch Retina display.
A South Korean site, ETNews, reported in May that Apple’s 12.9-inch tablet could be called the “iPad Maxi.” Although the rumor was later brushed aside as an unfounded claim, the chatter came to life once again in late July when the Wall Street Journal corroborated the ETNews report, saying that Apple had asked its suppliers for screen designs measuring slightly under 13 inches, for a new iPad model.