Rumor: Apple Ditches Plans for Large-Screen iPad

Source: Apple.comApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has abandoned its rumored plans for a large-screen tablet according to the latest supply chain rumors out of Asia. The information was uncovered by DigiTimes Research, the market research division of DigiTimes, the Taiwan-based media outlet. According to DigiTimes Research’s supply chain sources, Apple had been working on a 12.85-inch iPad that was tentatively called the “iPad Pro.”

Although DigiTimes Research’s report didn’t specify exactly why Apple decided to stop the iPad Pro project, the sources noted that many tablet makers are having problems with their large-tablet projects due to “lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems.” Last December, DigiTimes reported that Apple was planning on releasing a 12.9-inch tablet in October 2014 that would be geared towards North America’s education market. However, according to the latest supply chain checks, the Cupertino-based company has apparently shelved those plans.

Meanwhile, several Android-based tablet makers are proceeding with their large-screen tablet plans, albeit with a few difficulties. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) recently launched its own large-screen tablet, the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro that is geared towards professional users. However, DigiTimes Research predicted that the Korea-based company will only sell approximately one million units in 2014 due to the Android platform’s “inferior” enterprise applications and a “weaker price/performance ratio compared to notebooks of the similar price range.”

Asus is still planning on releasing a 13.3-inch dual-OS tablet in cooperation with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), according to DigiTimes Research’s sources. However, the sources noted that the project has hit a roadblock due to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) reluctance to see Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) benefit from its platform.

Rumors of a large-format iPad were first reported by Korea’s ETNews in May of 2013. 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.” Last November, the Korea Times added more fuel to the rumors when its sources claimed that the iPad Pro’s display was “now being manufactured by the supplier’s plant in Korea.”

Display industry analysts have also predicted that Apple would release a large-format tablet this year. NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh predicted that Apple would be revamping all of its displays in 2014 and would soon unveil a 12.9-inch iPad with a resolution of 2732 × 2048. Some analysts believe that the emergence of large-screen tablets geared towards the education or enterprise markets is inevitable, as tablets have grown in popularity to the detriment of desktop PCs that were traditionally used in those markets. However, according Digitimes Research’s information, it appears that Apple is in no rush to enter this tablet market niche.

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