Amid rumors of a larger "iPad Pro" perhaps arriving in 2014 with a larger display in the range of 12-13 inches, Evercore analyst Patrick Wang yesterday released a research report indicating that supply chain sources are indeed supporting the circulating claims.
According to Wang's sources, Apple is looking to launch a 12-inch iPad in the fall of this year, targeting enterprise with a new "hybrid" device intended to bridge the gap between tablets and notebooks. Wang believes that the larger iPad will unsurprisingly also include a new A8 processor from Apple that may be a quad-core chip, as well as increased storage.
Arriving in fall ‘14, Apple goes Enterprise with an 12” iPad. Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM’s reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it.
- Expect a 2-1 hybrid – think iPad + MBA – similar to how most iPads are used in the workplace and in the same spirit of MSFT’s Surface.
Wang points out that bill-of-materials estimates peg the cost of the Intel processors used in the MacBook Air in excess of 20% of the machine's cost, while the ARM processors used in Apple's iPad represent only about 5% of total cost for high storage capacity models. The much lower pricing for Apple's A-series chips could allow the company to pose a serious threat to the business notebook market for those applications where a new and larger iPad would be appropriate.
In his note, Wang points out that Apple faces two primary challenges in penetrating the enterprise notebook market with a larger iPad. The first is storage capacity, with the current iPad maxing out at 128 GB, while the second is support for the full Microsoft Office suite that is entrenched in the enterprise market. Microsoft has been reported for some time to be working on a version of Office for iPad, and the most recent reports have indicated that it could arrive in fall of 2014 following completion of the "Touch First" interface for Windows earlier in the year.