Remember those big iPad rumors from last year? Well, they’re back.
Apple is reportedly gearing up to release a 12.9 inch iPad early next year, according to Bloomberg. That’s a big step up from the iPad’s 9.7 inch screen, and it could be a way for Apple to kickstart slumping tablet sales.
I was pretty skeptical about the idea of a big-screen iPad last year — and it still seems a bit out of character for Apple — but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the company needs to do something fresh with its tablet lineup. The iPad (including the Mini) has been Apple’s fastest growing product line ever, but investors and analysts have been concerned that slowing sales over the past few quarters could be a sign of a bigger problem.
Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the year-over-year decline in iPad sales in the company’s past two quarterly earnings calls, attributing it to inventory issues and “market softeners” in international markets. But he also didn’t seem to concerned about the iPad’s performance.
“We still feel the [tablet] category as a whole is in its early days and that there’s still significant innovation that can be brought to the iPad — and we plan on doing that,” Cook said during Apple’s last earnings call.
So who would want a bigger iPad? Businesses, for one. With its recent IBM partnership, Apple announced its intention to focus much more on enterprise customers. And you can bet there are plenty of business users who would appreciate a bigger iPad — just think about anyone working in design or construction.