Crazy rumor (or is it?) claims 12.9-inch ‘iPad maxi’ will rock 4K Retina display

By , Dec 3, 2013

iPad mini retina display

As the Wall Street Journal in July gave credence to 12.9-inch iPad speculation, which dates back to a sketchy report published in May 2013, we’re now officially in the clear as far as crazy rumors go. The mythical iPad designed for real men – let’s call it the ‘iPad maxi’ for the time being, shall we? – could give Retina a new meaning by incorporating an ultra high-resolution 4K screen.

If true, the device’s advanced display will manage to squeeze 8+ million pixels typically found on desktop monitors – such as Dell’s latest 27-incher or Sharp’s 32-inch IGZO monitor - onto a canvas which measures less than thirteen inches diagonally.

Given that Amazon and Google now have tablets that outperform the iPad’s 2,047-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen, I imagine Apple must be very interested to reclaim the Highest-Resolution Tablet crown it once held…

According to a report by Chinese-language PadNews (Google Translate), Apple engineers are designing the iPad maxi with 4K resolution in mind. If true, this further corroborates that the iPad maxi could be aimed at creative pros and power users.

The story claims that Apple along with its favorite manufacturer, Taiwan-based Foxconn, is experimenting with five different screen resolutions. Early prototypes apparently feature a 2K display, with Apple actively targeting 4K panels.

The publication’s sources think Apple may release at least one iPad in April 2014 (an iPad Air successor with Touch ID and a faster CPU, perhaps?), with another one outfitted with 4K display technology to follow in October 2014.

Wikipedia lists four different 2K resolutions, with the full HD 1,920-by-1,080 pixels being the likely candidate for iPad maxi, at least in my personal opinion. Also, the current 2,048-by-1,536 pixel Retina screen is technically 2K so perhaps the April 2014 device is simply a refresh to the current iPad lineup.

Be that as it may, Apple’s never adopted the 16:9 aspect ratio for iPads, or full HD resolution, so upcoming iPads could pose a nice opportunity to right that wrong.

four iPad mini retina display

Native 1080p format would offer the benefit of watching full HD iTunes movies without downscaling. Besides, pro video editors typically demand native 1080p screens because all their footage is in 1080p.

Adopting the 1,920-by-1,080 pixel full HD format would inevitably make the iPad’s 4:3 screen wider and shorter (in landscape orientation). On the other hand, 4K (or Ultra HD) resolution of 3,840 pixels by 2,160 lines may be a nice fit for the iPad’s 4:3 canvas, assuming Apple’s engineers have found the way to pack in two and a half times more pixels (4K versus Retina) on the 33 percent larger canvas (12.9 inches versus 9.7 inches).

4K would give the iPad max unmatched sharpness at around 400 pixels per inch.

12_9_ipad_ipad_4_mini_light-800x450

That’s not as preposterous a proposition as it sounds.

Chinese manufacturer Vivo already has a phone with a 2K 1,440-by-2,560 pixel screen. For those not counting, that’s the same number of pixels as my 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display and more than the iPad’s Retina screen, in a smartphone form factor.

All told, iPad maxi talk has been picking up steam lately.

In addition to the Wall Street Journal, another publication, The Korea Times, recently claimed that “a first tier display supplier” – Samsung, perhaps? – is now sampling 12.9-inch panels for the iPad maxi. And if DigiTimes is to be trusted, Apple has inked a deal with Quanta to assemble the device for a 2014 introduction.

Order volumes are expected to be limited as Quanta could encounter “several challenges in terms of industrial design and assembly” when making the large-size iPad.

Do you buy this iPad maxi talk?

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  • Jonathan

    For the sake of humanity, could you please call it “Pro”?

    • chumawumba

      I was literally going to post the same comment.

      • Jonathan

        too late, lol.

    • Franklin Richards

      Maybe iPad XL?

      • Sean Clark

        iPad Magnum

    • LAGISSUEZ

      Why not reverse it and call it the maxi pad.

    • eXoguti093

      iPad “Maxi” bothers me more than it should…

  • Willie

    I’m wondering what the battery life will be like

    • jocastro

      haha probably crap.. or added 1 more hour of battery life

      • Carlos Gomes

        So… 11 hours would be crap.
        Cool.

      • addicted to BVB! :)

        cool? i thought it would be crap ^^

      • jack

        are you autistic

      • jp2002

        I can imagine how Phil will announce—-”And it still gives the amazing 10 hour battery”

      • Jonathan

        *11

      • jp2002

        its always 10. “Amazing 10 hour battery life”

      • Jonathan

        You’re probably. I’m just trolling the above comment. :P

      • Carlos Gomes

        HAHA I saw what you did there.

    • Jo

      4 minutes

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        They got 10 hours out of a 4:3 screen, making it bigger makes more room for higher capacity battery, so….

      • Falk M.

        …they make it thinner!!!

        *rolleyes*
        Truth be told, I think that’s what they’d do.
        They never prioritize batter life over making it thinner it seems.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Thinner than the iPad Air…that’s excess thinnovation (I think the iPad 4 is more than thin enough) and would probably result in it breaking like good old cracker…

  • bn326160

    I’m already saving up for when a 30″ iPad comes out. Just imagine that.

    • TeddyBearStand

      iTV.

      • chumawumba

        iTV Plus Pro Maxx

      • Sean Clark

        with Retina

      • Mohannad

        Rocking a A90x chip with 6.7 GHz

      • Jonathan

        *4k display

      • Sean Clark

        They’d call it Retina, still. Any company can make a 4K display, but Apple has the trademark and reputation behind “retina” displays to keep it seeming exclusive to them.

      • Falk M.

        I think you’re confused, that would be a Microsoft naming scheme.

        Microsoft TV Professional BigScreen for Collaboration 2013

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    I wish Apple would come up with a 55-inch iPad. I would just use it as a TV.

    • chumawumba

      A TV loaded with fingerprints.

      • Jonathan

        Fingerprint resistant coat.
        Solved.
        6 months later, spray with resistant coat again.

    • Sigurd Boe

      A TV? No thank you, I would use it as a table. :)

    • jack

      In 2015 Apple website will sell a generic “iOS device” where you can type the screensize you want. And if the number is below 5″, it automatically comes with phone hardware.

  • OrphanNonFostered

    I’d gladly spend $500 for a 12″ MaxiPad

    • CaffeinePizza

      $500? BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHFFKHKHKFHKAHKFAJHfkjhawdkfgahfhaweiuhHKAHKHFAKIH…. No. More like $1199

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        At that price, it better have more input ports (USB, DisplayPort, MicrosSD, etc in addition to the lightning charging port) and be running full Mac OS X…In other words, it should be the thinner version of this concept (youtube com/watch?v=fHdeBrxq8FY)

      • Falk M.

        I think what you’re asking for is a Macbook Pro, man.
        Keyboard included even! ;)

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Yeah, a MacBook pro merged with the benefits of an iPad and Wacom Board…it’s Apple’s version of the Surface…

  • Xperienc3

    Just based on the change in naming for the full size iPad to the iPad Air would indicate to me that something along the lines of “iPad Pro” is in the cards sometime down the road. Though I doubt it is going to happen anytime soon until there is more unification with OSX and iOS (Mavericks power efficiency improvements also indicates this as well as mavericks running better on weaker hardware).

  • xxXXxx

    Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, Macbook… IPad Air, IPad, IPad ____ . Fill the blank.

  • Your Mother

    I doubt very much they’d call it an iPad Maxi because its just too close to Maxi Pad and women would complain.

    • Jordan

      That was the joke… That it sounds like maxi pad…

  • Chris Barnett

    That wouldn’t make much sense, knowing Apple. They tend to put lower pixel densities on displays that will sit farter from your face. You’re not going to have your eyes within 5 inches of a 12.9 inch display.

  • Matt

    Once again Apple is going to set the standard just like they did with the release of iPhone 4 and retina display.

  • batongxue

    Then the price would be $999, €999, ¥7288…?
    Damn, my pocket has already been empty!

    • Carlos Gomes

      €999 + taxes

  • ProfessorX1®

    Introducing iPad Pro starting at $899.

  • Daniel Beecham

    4K Screen on and ipad jaaaaaaaaajajajaajaj, you will need a backpack full of Car Battery’s just to see a full Movie on it.

  • Abhinav Chaudhary

    iPad 36D

  • bring_it_on

    Whats makes members here so certain that this device would infact be clubbed under the IPAD family? And not a totally new apple category? One where users are offered a different UI and UX for mac book air and pro replacement tasks?