Analyst Predicts Microsoft Surface-like 12-inch iPad Pro Hybrid for Fall 2014

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We are only on the third day of the new year and the analyst talk already has begun: this year Apple will surprise consumers with a 12-inch iPad hybrid, projects Evercore Partner analyst Patrick Wang.

According to his note to investors obtained by AppleInsider, the Cupertino-based company will launch a 12-inch iPad, powered by an A8 chip this fall, that aims to re-shape the traditional notebook market.

An interesting highlight of Wang’s forecast is his thoughts about the benefits of such device for ARM: the chip maker could gain market share in the traditional computer chip market. For instance, the MacBook Air’s processor accounts for about 22% of the total BOM. By contrast, the processor cost is only 4% in the case of a 128-GB iPad.

Apple has gone the extra mile by launching the first 64-bit chip ahead of everyone. According to Wang, the A7 chip sets the stage for a so-called “iPad Pro.” Rumours of a bigger screen iPad surfaced mid-2013 and they kept coming back.

What makes Wang’s prediction stand out from what we have heard so far about the 12-inch iPad Pro is that he says Apple plans to tweak the additional screen real estate and create a hybrid device that could act both as a tablet and a notebook? Does this mean Apple is preparing to copy the Microsoft Surface tablet?