Rumours of a larger iPad surfaced last summer when the Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple was working on a bigger-screen iPhone and iPad. Since then, we’ve heard plenty of rumours, but none of them is based on hard facts, which triggered IHS to question the viability of the iPad Pro.
As Rhoda Alexander, market research company IHS’s director of tablet and monitor research, points out, the only certain fact is that some of the manufacturers got samples of a larger panel.
“Some manufacturers over the last six months have received sample quantities of a larger panel. They’re playing around with a product that could possibly be an iPad-related product,” she told CNET in a phone interview. “Various sizes are being reported with 12.85 inches being one of the sizes,” she said.
Going further, she questions the viability of a larger tablet than the 9.7-inch iPad. Indeed, Samsung recently showed off its Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, but it is targeting the business market rather than the educational market, which is said to be demanding the bigger iPad.
“When this [rumored] product was first discussed, it was said that there were requests from the education market, which I think shows a lack of understanding about how that market works. Those products have to qualify over years. Most of the education market is still using the iPad 2,” she said.
And she even comments on the vague rumours of a hybrid tablet-laptop.
“What’s the argument for it? The usage model is not entirely clear at this point,” Alexander said.
We don’t have to go too far: the “success” of the Microsoft Surface shows that the market may not be ready for such as device: although Surface shipments doubled sequentially, Surface doesn’t appear to be profitable yet.