It looks like rumours pointing to Apple working on a large screen iPad got a little more credibility thanks to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.The publication, which boasts of a pretty good record when it comes to rumours around the Cupertino giant, informs that the company is indeed testing larger screens for iPhones and iPads.
It cites officials at Apple’s suppliers to report that the company has asked them to supply prototype smartphone screens larger than 4-inches and screen designs for a new tablet measuring slightly less than 13-inches diagonally. Of course, it’s not new for Apple to test different devices in various form factors, and it’s difficult to predict if any of the new devices will eventually make it to the production line. However, the rumours do indicate that Apple has acknowledged that there’s demand for devices across all screen sizes.
Apple’s biggest rival, the South Korean electronics giant, Samsung offers devices in a variety of screen sizes and form factors, with its flagship device, the Galaxy S4, also touching the 5-inch point. Meanwhile, Apple started offering a 4-inch iPhone, last year, increasing the screen size by 0.5-inch. Apple’s iPad features a 9.7-inch tablet while it also sells a smaller version of the tablet, the iPad mini that offers a 7.9-inch.
Previously, a South Korean publication had reported that Apple is working on a new larger iPad with a 12.9-inch diagonal screen that would be called iPad Maxi. The iPad variant is rumoured to launch in the first half of 2014 and would take on Ultrabooks. It was also pointed out that Apple would also target the educational market with digital textbooks with the tablet. The publication had cited industry sources to report that Apple was in talks with display and component manufacturers in Korea for supplies.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that Apple and its suppliers are prepping to ramp up production of the next generation iPad later this month, citing officials at component suppliers. It adds that the new version of the iPad will be the same size and feature the same resolution as the current 9.7-inch model, but will come with a lighter and thinner display structure as it will include touch sensors with a thin film in place of glass, used in existing iPads.
It also reports that Apple’s suppliers have started mass producing components for the new iPhone and that Hon Hai Precision Industry/ Foxconn has been asked to get ready to ship new iPhones starting late August.