Although it’s not exactly the first one to have a large-screen tablet (remember the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2?), Apple definitely made gigantic slates a thing with its iPad Pros. Straddling the thin line between tablet and laptop, this new breed of computers also blur the lines between these mobile computers. Apple has been closing the gap even further, with the ability to run some iOS apps on Macs and the launch of ARM-based M1 Macs. According to a famed market analyst, Apple might even take the next step and bring the iPad closer to the MacBook in size, at least in a few years.
The large iPad Pro didn’t make a lot of friends immediately when it first launched. At 12.9 inches, some ridiculed it while others couldn’t figure out where it stood in Apple’s grand design. Fast-forward a few years, the tables have been turned slightly, and the “normal” iPads are the ones becoming an endangered species. Come 2023 or later, Apple might stir things up again with even larger iPads that will encroach into MacBook territory.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is exploring larger iPads. No size has been hinted, but screens have traditionally fallen along 13, 14, 15 and 16 inches. Those happen also to be the sizes that the MacBooks and MacBook Pros are available in.
It’s not going to happen next year, though, says the analyst and reporter. For 2022, Apple is focused on redesigning the iPad Pro lineup while maintaining their current 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes. Those redesigns include the rumored use of glass on the back of the slates. This, in turn, could herald the arrival of wireless charging, most likely an upgraded version of MagSafe technology.
While larger iPads could excite iPad Pro fans, they might also cause a bit of confusion among Apple’s own customers. With the latest Magic Keyboard with a trackpad and the upcoming iOS 15 release, the iPad Pros are closer to becoming full-fledged laptop replacements. Larger sizes could reinforce that image but possibly at the expense of Apple’s MacBook line.