Is Apple’s Large-Screen iPad the First iOS-Based Desktop?

Source: Apple.comApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be creating a new category of desktop products with its rumored “iPad Pro.” Mike Elgan at ComputerWorld recently outlined the reasons why he believes Apple is preparing a large-screen iPad that will function as a desktop computer replacement for the traditional PC.

Rumors of a large-format iPad tentatively called the “iPad Maxi” were first reported in May 2013 by Korea’s ETNews. Although the rumors were initially not taken seriously, the more reliable Wall Street Journal soon bolstered the rumors with its own report about a “new tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches.” The Korea Times offered even more details of the large-screen iPad last month.

“Apple’s local first-tier display supplier is now producing a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in the new iPad, which will be coming out sometime early next year,” stated the Korea Times’ insider sources. “That display is now being manufactured by the supplier’s plant in Korea.” The sources also revealed that the upcoming iPad would feature a resolution “quality similar to that of UHD [ultra high-definition].”

As noted by Elgan, the rumors of a high-resolution iPad display are in line with predictions made in October by NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh. Hsieh predicted that Apple would be revamping all of its displays in 2014 and would unveil a 12.9-inch iPad with a resolution of 2732 × 2048 by next year.

Finally, the Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported earlier this month that Apple is planning on releasing a 12.9-inch tablet in October 2014 that will be geared towards North America’s education market. Although the DigiTimes has a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to accurate Apple predictions, there appears to be a growing consensus that the California-based company is planning to unveil a high-resolution 12.9-inch iPad.

As noted by Elgan, Apple is already making inroads in the education system with its 9.7-inch iPads. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD, awarded a $30 million contract to Apple for the company to supply its students with iPads. Meanwhile, the overall PC market continues to decline. For these reasons, Elgan believes that Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad may be the first entry in a new post-PC line of desktop computers.

Here’s how Apple traded on Friday.

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Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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