Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly planning to launch a bigger iPad with a higher resolution screen next year. Sources familiar with the matter told Chinese website Pad News that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its Chinese partner Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXCOF) are testing five different prototypes of 12.9-inch iPad. The alleged larger size iPads will feature 2K and 4K resolutions.
New iPads to sport double the resolution of iPad Air
Sources said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may launch the larger screen iPad Pro (as they called it) by April 2014. And one with 4K resolution may hit the market in October when the Cupertino-based company updates its product cycle. The current iPad Air with 9.7-inch screen has 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution. That already falls in the 2K category. Sources said that the 4K version may have a resolution of 4096 x 3072, double the resolution of iPad Air. The upcoming device is also rumored to sport 397ppi pixel density, compared to the iPad Air’s 264ppi.
It’s not the first time the reports of a larger iPad have surfaced. Last month, The Korean Times said that a “first tier” Korean display maker is already manufacturing the 12.9 inch Retina display for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Prior to that, there were reports that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) was testing a 12.9-inch or 11.4-inch tablet. The Wall Street Journal also claimed that a large-size iPad could hit the market next year.
Apple aims to maintain its edge
Tablets are rapidly replacing PCs in global markets. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be planning to maintain its edge with a larger screen size. PC sales were down 5% during the June quarter, and sank another 6% in September quarter. The size of the upcoming iPad Pro would be close to the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
It’s noteworthy that Panasonic Corp. (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) (TYO:6752) already has a tablet in 4K resolution range. The 20-inch Windows 8 tablet by the Japanese company sports a 3840 x 2560 resolution. However, it’s priced at around $6,000.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down 0.45% to $563.79 at 10:24 AM EST.