If 12.9 inches isn’t enough of a workspace for your iPad, an even bigger model may be on the way. According to Ross Young of DSSC, a giant 14.1-inch iPad Pro is currently in development and could launch as early as next year.
Citing supply-chain sources, Young describes the existence of a 14.1-inch display for the iPad Pro as “confirmed” and says the device is “more likely” to launch in early 2023. (More likely than what? That isn’t clear, but presumably, he means more likely than a launch later in 2022.)
Its screen will be based on mini-LED, he claims, and feature ProMotion, matching the spec of the current 12.9-inch Pro. And in a reply to a commenter, he further adds that he thinks the device will feature Face ID only. The wait goes on for under-screen Touch ID, which has been rumored for a while but has yet to appear in any Apple device.
Let’s begin by noting that this isn’t a new rumor. Last summer Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple was working on a larger-screen iPad, which he described as “the perfect device for many people, including me, [which] would continue to blur the lines between tablet and laptop.” And a report in January claimed the Chinese electronics manufacturer BOE planned to build OLED panels up to 15 inches in size, with an eye on Apple’s tablet range.
Is this actually going to happen?
TWith so many reports claiming the existence of a larger iPad Pro, we’re pretty certain that this is accurate. We can also take into account Young’s excellent track record—he’s currently rated as 92.9 percent accurate on AppleTrack, and the last time he predicted an iPad would increase in screen size his numbers were spot on.
Strategically, the move is more ambiguous. On the one hand, it would solve the problem Apple has faced in recent years with two of its iPad lines competing for the same customers. Whenever the iPad Air is updated, it seemingly kills demand for the more expensive iPad Pro, and whenever the Pros get updated, they make the Air look like yesterday’s news. In some ways, this is a nice problem to have, but competing with yourself tends to be inefficient.
Having a larger Pro lineup, with the 14.1-inch model presumably replacing the smaller 11-inch one, would mean they target an entirely different market to the Air. Looking for 11 inches or less? Go for the Air. Looking for 12 inches or more? The Pro is for you. Young didn’t speculate on which Pro model, if any, would be dropped to make room for the 14.1-inch one, but killing the 11-inch would make sense from this perspective.
On the other hand, however, exactly how big a market is there for a giant iPad Pro? The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is already pretty niche, and out of most buyers’ price range; it’s hard to see where Apple is going to find a substantial audience of tech buyers who need and can afford 14.1 inches, but don’t want to satisfy that need with a laptop.
We had been expecting new iPad Pros with an M2 processor to appear in the fall, although with this rumor, it’s possible that the M2 models launches in early 2023. If you don’t want to wait until then, make sure you’re paying the lowest price on the current models by visiting our roundup of the best iPad deals.