Apple, however, has stayed mum on going bigger with its iPad line. And if you were craving that oft-leaked 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you could be rather unlucky. That’s because the company may have shelved plans to bring such a big tablet to market. This is according to DigiTimes Research, the research arm of the notorious Taiwan-based publication that feeds our need for rumors originating in the “upstream supply chain” of big corporations.
There’s no direct reason given for the move, but it’s been said that “most of the large-size tablet projects face difficulties because of lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems” – whatever that means. It’s pretty clear that 12-inch tablets aren’t going to go mainstream any time soon, so their main uses may be in enterprise environments. Samsung’s pricing of its 12-inchers suggests that it’s not going after consumers either.
However, enterprise apps for Android and iOS are generally inferior (especially in terms of productivity) to their PC counterparts, and with prices starting at around $650 12-inch tablets are certainly not cheaper than most entry-level business-focused laptops. So why would a company choose such tablets over good ol’ laptops? Exactly. Because of these issues, DigiTimes says Samsung will only manage to sell around 1 million 12″ tablets this year.
Moving on, a Nexus 8 tablet has long been rumored to arrive this year. It was said that this would effectively replace the Nexus 7 in Google’s portfolio, as very heated competition in the 7-inch space has meant that the second-generation Nexus 7 has had worse sales numbers than the original model. Hence, Google apparently wants to move its small tablet efforts to another bit of the market, one that isn’t served by affordable devices right now.
Yet new information from the same DigiTimes source now claims that the 8-inch Nexus will actually come with an 8.9-inch touchscreen, which would make it closer to a 9-inch tablet. This is reportedly Google’s first tablet project for 2014, so it could in fact serve as a replacement for the aging Nexus 10 from 2012, and not the Nexus 7 – which may even get a successor at some point this year, complementing the 8.9″ Nexus. The 8.9-inch Nexus tablet is expected to be affordable, just like all of Google’s tablets have been, but exact pricing is unknown right now.
As is the detail about who would be making it, though for the previously rumored 8″ Nexus Asus was name dropped. All of the above should only count as an unconfirmed rumor for now, so don’t get your hopes up (or down, if we’re talking about the iPad Pro) about any of this just yet. We’ll let you know when (or if) we find out more.