iPad maxi (teaser 001)

Sorting through the ocean of rumors today, I stumbled upon a Chinese report suggesting a twice as sharp Retina display on the next iPhone. While there’s some chance we could see Apple develop a higher-resolution iPhone at some point, another sketchy report claims that the company is also working on a much larger iPad with a 12.9-inch display.

If true, this would put the rumored ‘iPad maxi’ in the range of netbooks and notebooks and appeal to niche market verticals, such as digital photographers, pro video editors, designers, content creators and so forth…

The rumor comes via Korean web publication ETNews.com which doesn’t have a particularly accurate track record.

A translation provided by Unwired View mentions unnamed industry sources who apparently told ETNews.com that Apple is already talking to Korean display and other component manufacturers about the part supplies.

A 12.9-inch ‘iPad maxi’, if you believe the report, is due for launch in early-2014.

In addition to creative pros, the device is believed to target educational market and digital textbooks, which would certainly look great on the bigger screen. The last tidbit: Apple with partners is said to be developing a new display technology with less glare, to be used in classrooms.

I’m not sure what to make of the story, if anything.

In addition to ETNews’ unreliable track record, Apple typically likes to keep things simple and streamline its product families. Whereas other manufacturers throw a bunch of form factors at the wall to see if it sticks, Apple offers its iPhone and iPad in only two screen sizes each.

On the other hand, I guess you could argue that Tim Cook’s Apple has already broken away from the past by releasing the 7.9-inch iPad mini, introducing a four-inch iPhone 5 and updating the iPad 3 with a speedier chip and Lightning I/O just six months following its release.

Taking it all in, we could speculate that Cook & Co. are accepting market realities and readying an iPod-ization of the iPhone and iPad product families with several new form factors.

Many analysts embrace the idea of larger form-factor iOS devices. And with Samsung going strong, phablets are here to stay. Cook is a clever guy and as such likely not married to any particular device form factor.

I don’t think he’ll ignore market trends and watch rival makers erode Apple’s standing as its ‘two-sizes-fits-all’ strategy appears to be backfiring.

Thoughts?