Will Apple Debut Bigger ‘iPad Pro’ Next?

Source: Apple.com

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to introduce a larger version of the iPad called the “iPad Pro” in 2014, reports the Korea Times via Digital Spy. According to the Korea Times, the iPad Pro will feature a 12.9-inch screen and will help the California-based company meet the growing consumer demand for large-screen devices.

The Korea Times cited an Apple supply chain source who claim that the 12.9-inch display is already being manufactured. “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,” according to the source. “That display is now being manufactured by the supplier’s plant in Korea.”

The 12.9-inch tablet may also feature a screen with a higher resolution than the current generation of iPad. “The 12.9-inch iPad will have improved picture quality,” noted the Korea Times’s source. “As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD.”

Although the Korea Times did not specify the supply chain source, LG Display (NYSE:LPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) are two major Apple display suppliers that are known to operate facilities in Korea. The report also noted that Samsung is developing 10-inch to 13-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays for its next generation of Galaxy tablets. The Korea-based company recently announced its intentions to become “the world’s biggest tablet supplier.”

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker data, Apple maintained its position as the No. 1 tablet vendor in the world in the third quarter of this year despite a nearly stagnant year-over-year growth rate. Apple shipped 14.1 million iPad units compared to 9.7 million tablets shipped by Samsung. However, this gap will likely increase in the fourth quarter now that Apple has refreshed its iPad product line.

Although the Korea Times’s report cannot be independently confirmed, it does line up with similar rumors reported by other news outlets. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Apple was developing “a new tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches.” More recently, Korea’s ETNews reported in October that “an oversized 12.9 inch-iPad will be also released next year for e-textbook and enterprise markets.”

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