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We’ve heard some rumblings about a 12.9-inch iPad before and now The Korea Times reports Apple is moving to release a bigger iPad some time in 2014 as a “first tier display supplier” has reportedly kicked off mass manufacture of the panels. Apple will introduce a 12.9-inch iPad “early next year,” the report claims.

Conventional wisdom teaches us that Apple may be interested to meet growing demand for larger form-factor mobile devices, especially with PC sales continuously shrinking and phablets by Samsung and others now moving millions of units. An iPad Maxi, anyone?

According to The Korea Times:

Apple plans to introduce a 12.9-inch iPad early next year to compete with its rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics that have continued to release bigger tablets, sources said Tuesday. Currently, the biggest iPad is 9.8 inches.

Actually, ETNews first mentioned an early-2014 iPad Maxi release date back in May.

An unnamed source at a local Apple supplier in Korea told them by telephone:

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. That display is now being manufactured by the supplier’s plant in Korea.

The source said that a 12.9-inch iPad will have “improved picture quality” and likened the screen quality and resolution to that of Ultra HD screens. Apple’s supplier apparently intends to boost its lineup for displays that have “almost ultra high-definition quality”.

Ultra HD, also known as UHD and 4K, denotes a 3,840-by-2,160 pixel resolution, four times the pixels of the full HD 1,920-by-1,080 content such as Blu-ray movies.

Conveniently, the unreliable analyst Gene Munster sees a 12.9-inch iPad with a 2,732-by-2,048 pixel display in the fourth quarter of this year.

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The Korea Times doesn’t have a solid track record and is known for publishing pro-Samsung news and pure speculation so take this one with a grain of salt.

On the other hand, it’s worth pointing out that the credulous Wall Street Journal back in July ran a story claiming Apple had been testing screen designs for a new ‘iPad Maxi’ device said to measure slightly less than 13 inches diagonally.

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Such a monster-sized tablet could be Apple’s answer to declining PC (and consequentially Mac) sales as some creative pros and prosumers alike may opt for a large-size tablet with ultra high-resolution to edit their photos, produce videos, compose music and do some real heavy-lifting.

A bigger device would accommodate a larger battery and would likely need a fast processor to drive those pixels and run the next-generation of tablet applications. If it ever comes out, a 12.9-inch iPad may be the perfect notebook replacement. Just don’t expect it to be, you know, affordable for the masses.

What do  you think?

Will we ever see an iPad Maxi and does a 12.9-inch iPad make sense?

iPad Maxi mockups via MacRumors.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Well 4K resolution screens are coming soon so its not out of the realm of possibility. I hope the 9.8 version goes that direction too because 12 inches might be too big. (thats what she said).

  • Vince Reedy

    Touch OSX! Touch OSX! Touch OSX!

    • CC-Dog

      Touch OS X is iOS, the difference is only on Cocoa level which controls the interface.

      • Vince Reedy

        I mean full featured OS with touch capabilities.

      • CC-Dog

        iOS has all that OS X has, Darwin, Quartz, Cocoa Touch which is a touch version Cocoa. It’s just that Apple limits what you can do on it. I believe a open iOS is what you are looking for, not some Win8-ish solution.

    • Jack Wong

      I don’t want the Windows 8 experience on Mac laptop or desktop…

  • pauleebe

    It would definitely need a 4K display, to achieve a 300 PPI for a 12.9 inch screen.
    I feel like this is just too big, though. But what do I know.

  • KalikKazam

    Gyeahh… It’s time for big screen revolution!

  • Terence Ho

    Hopefully the 12.9 inch screen would have a thin or no bezel design and be the same size and the previous full size iPad

  • İlkim Sezen

    Hell yeah I would buy this iPad. Of course if Apple puts Retina Screen and A8 to it along with touch ID.

  • totempole90

    If this is true, I cannot see myself using a 12.9″ tablet. It’s too underpowered for a full productivity machine and too massive for a consumption device. I’m happy with my current setup, which is a MBP + iPad mini.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    This is the ipad pro. I realized this the moment I heard the name ipad air.

  • Thomas Flores

    I would buy an iPad at a 12.9 inch screen as long as it runs mavericks instead of iOS

  • Brutal07

    iPad Pro here we come.

    Mac mini – iPad Mini
    Macbook Air – iPad Air
    Macbook Pro – iPad Pro

    It will probably be geared towards professionals on the go, or to be incorporated into an easel type desk (think drafting table) for professional use.

    • Ted Forbes

      Yep, thats what its about, more people will find use for it once its out there.

  • klouud

    This is logical. iPad air = retina, iPad mini = retina, iPad max = 4k.
    I would also expect: MacBook Air = retina, Macbook Pro = 4k
    And therefore: iMac in retina and 4k options.
    I’d love a MBA retina.

    • At

      I’d sell my 15″ retina MacBook for a retina MacBook Air, as long as the price for a 512 SSD wasn’t too bad. I believe they will release a iPad “pro” and along with it a MacBook quality keyboard case, with full functioning shortcuts and what not designed for iPad.

  • Richard Gomez

    i believe that this will be called the iPad Pro instead of iPad Maxi, that just sounds horrible to name it. i don’t think it will even come out next year. i believe it will come out in 2015 because they will try to focus on the iwatch for next year.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    Given the current iPad is called the iPad “air”, would it not make sense for a larger iPad to be called the iPad Pro. Also why couldn’t it run full mac OSX and work as a portable mac. Like Microsoft’s surface pro

  • Shingo

    I need 40″ ipad

  • Tech Guru

    an awful lot of pro 4k comments below, but just 2 months ago when the first Android with 4K was announced you all had totally different opinions about the usefulness or need for 4k displays. lmfao.

  • Al

    I don’t care what Apple calls it, I’ll take one please.

  • n0ahcruz3

    If it runs iOS, lmfao. If it runs OSX, make sense. If it runs both OSX&iOS shut up and take my money.

  • Chris Gilmore

    Haven’t seen the comment if it’s out there…. am i the only one thinking about the name??? Ok, I’ll say it….

    Maxipad?

  • Yunik

    what!….only 1280×720 display.. Please do not make this true. Even HTC one has 4.7 inch display but it is full HD. come ON apple. I was expecting full HD

  • Annonymous

    I hope that Apple realizes that with the direction that they are headed the are becoming more and more like Android. If this is true, and Apple keeps on changing device screen sizes, the entire iOS platform will be just as fragmented as Android. I mean, there are already 2 different iPad sizes and 2 different iPhone/iPod Touch sizes, and there are retina versions of all of them.