Have you ever wished for a larger screen iPad? That dream could come true if reports pan out, suggesting that Apple's partners are working up larger-screen versions of the company's iOS-family devices.
Why Would You Want A Larger iPad?
I can give you one reason, although its more a Microsoft problem than one that will appear on an Apple marketing information sheet. I used to watch Netflix on my Windows 8 laptop's big-screen. That was fine until a driver issue stopped Netflix and other streaming apps from working in Windows 8 (thanks a lot, bogus DRM schemes that afflict legitimate users).
AMD driver updates and app reinstalls have failed to solve the issue, and the next fix is a complete Windows reinstall, which seems a bit harsh for such a bug. Instead I started watching Netflix on my smaller 9.7" iPad, and even with all that Retina power, it is not quite big enough for extended viewing.
So, there's at least one use case for a bigger iPad device. Another might be for improved enterprise app use with more space for spreadsheets or creative apps with an on-screen keyboard or toolbars. I'm sure you can think of a few more. But would that tempt you to splash out for the undoubtedly high price that a near 13-inch model would command?
Remember, Apple is only testing the waters with these designs, according to the original Wall Street Journal story, and no final products may come of it, or perhaps not for a couple of generations. But, with iOS 7 doubtless designed to be more flexible across different screen sizes, it is likely something more on Apple's mind as Samsung's massive mosaic of device sizes should attest.
Then again, Apple doesn't do things just because its rivals do, and having already boosted the screen size of the iPhone 5, would it really want to create a still-larger model?
Big Screen Numbers To Mask the Shrinking Money Numbers?
The timing of the story is an interesting one, just one day before Apple announces its third-quarter results on Tuesday. With its recent Locationary acquisition, the company could be trying to light the road ahead, as many financial analysts predict declining profit and flat revenue.
If that happens, it can, in its own uncommunicative way, point to a strong revenue boost in future with these new products, and iOS 7's improved software to attempt to keep investors happy. But with most signs pointing to a maturing smartphone market, it can't rely on the high margins from the earlier generations of devices, which leaves it looking to the iWatch and TV project for its next big thing.
With neither of those likely to appear this year (although with Apple you can never really tell, it could be a continued bumpy ride for Apple stock in the coming quarters.