The standard iPad is a little short of 10 inches in size, with the iPad Mini even smaller than that. Of course, the different iPad releases have all been different sizes, and although they seem to have been getting smaller and smaller, recent news suggests that the next release will be the biggest yet, clocking in at just under 13 inches.
This seems like a strange move from Apple, as market trends have suggested that bigger isn’t better as far as tablets are concerned, and that the smaller devices have been keeping their share of this market afloat. The entire market is down, at least as far as Apple is concerned, but sales of smaller devices have been increasing. So, why exactly would Apple see 2015 as the year to release their biggest iPad yet? And are they making a mistake, or are they doing something that Apple have done for the last decade, which is seeing a gap in the market and forming it into a highly profitable industry?
We only need to look at smartphones to get an idea of why Apple might think that bigger is better. Yes the iPad Mini and subsequent releases are doing a lot better than the standard iPad and the iPad Air, but when it comes to smartphones, the bigger they are, the more popular they are. Samsung knew this, which is why they increased the size of their S series, and why one of their biggest selling devices is the Galaxy Note, which is one of the biggest phones on the market. Between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5, Apple seemed a little confused. They did make the screen taller, but they also made it slimmer, and the result was very poor as far as sales were concerned. From 5 to 6 though, they made bigger changes, literally.
Not only was the iPhone 6 the biggest iPhone release to date, but it was also accompanied by the iPhone 6 Plus, which is their foray into the phablet market, a device that is on par with the aforementioned Galaxy Note in terms of size.
No one really asked for bigger phones. No one really asked for smaller ones either. In fact, if bigger phones had been what the world was waiting for then sales of the Galaxy Note would have far outweighed sales of the Samsung S series, but this wasn’t the case. Apple — and Samsung for that matter — told us that bigger phones would be better. They created them, they released them, and by doing so they created a market for them. Apple are the ones that set the trends, not their customers.
And that brings us to the new 12.9 inch iPad. It may seem counter intuitive to release a larger iPad in the current marketplace, but Apple already have smaller and thinner devices, that’s what their Air and Mini iPads are for, what they do not have, however, is a larger version. It may be that customers prefer smaller devices and it may be that they would choose a smaller iPad over a bigger one, but Apple know that is there is much bigger opportunity for the bigger tablet, that there is much more sales potential there. This is not a risk on their part, because no matter what they release, no matter what they do, their products will be bought, praised and then bought again.
The bigger iPad will not only be a success, but it may well be more of a success than anything else on the market. It won’t simply be a bigger iPad either, it will be given a new name, a new look. It will also undoubtedly get a viral marketing campaign, scores of product placements and much more, exposing it to the world upon release. There are already suggestions that this new iPad will be released under the name iPad Pro, or the name iPad Plus, which seems more likely considering the name given to the release of the iPhone 6. The exact release date has yet to be announced, and Apple haven’t even announced that such a product exists. Everything we have to go on at the moment is speculation from all of the major tech sites, although we faced the same scenario before every Apple release, only for the product everyone was hyping to be launched several months later. What we can safely assume is that screen size won’t be the only thing that this new iPad will focus on; Apple will do their best to sell this mega-sized tablet, which means filling it with all of the latest tech, including the best available camera, processor, retina display and battery.
If they follow the same pattern then the new iPad could be released in time for the summer, and it will almost certainly be released in time for Christmas, ensuring that this oversized iPad finds its way into stockings worldwide.