I don't think Apple needs a larger iPad

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 22, 2013

When it comes to rumors and speculation, you always have to have your salt shaker handy. You know this. You've grown accustomed to it over the years, or maybe even just this year. When we talk about the things companies might be doing, it's anyone's guess, really, what could be actually happening. We may hear the same rumor over and over again, and get it confirmed from multiple unnamed sources from across the globe, and we may even see leaked documents that support it. It could all sound perfectly plausible, and make the most sense. But until the official announcement, it's all just conjecture.

Rumors and speculation about Apple and the company's products are just the same. Sometimes it's "worse," in fact. Devices like the iPad and the iPhone are so popular, and have the potential to make such big waves in the mobile market, that we usually hang on every word when a new rumor finds its way onto the Internet.

Of course, you may hang onto those words just to say, "So what?" and that's perfectly all right. There's nothing written down that says you have to be an Apple fan. It's not even an unwritten rule. So, if you don't care about the rumors that Apple is gearing up to make an iPhone with a bigger display, it's no big deal.

You've got plenty of other smartphone choices out there, after all.

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece about how Apple could create an iPhone with a larger display and call it good. That was before the Cupertino-based company unveiled iOS 7. Before then, I admitted that they could have kept their mobile platform the same, and just upped the size of the iPhone's display and I would have called it good. I would have been okay with that.

The 4-inch display on the iPhone 5 is probably big enough for most, or at least for the millions of folks out there who bought the device, and for the most part I can live with it. But after using devices like the HTC One, I know deep in my heart that I'd really, really like the iPhone to have a larger display. It doesn't need to be the Galaxy Note II size or anything, obviously, but just something a bit bigger. 4.9-inches would probably be perfect.

Indeed, back in June there was a report floating around that Apple was playing with iPhone prototypes with larger displays. That report suggested Apple was testing devices with 4.7- and 5.7-inch display sizes. In the same report, though, it's noted that Apple usually tests larger display sizes, and ultimately chooses to sack them in favor of the smaller panels.

The iPad probably works the same way behind the scenes. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Apple has played around with the idea of upping the iPad's display size. Over the years, since the debut of the original iPad, there have been rumors, while faint and varied, that pointed to a larger iPad coming soon. I didn't put much stock into them back then, and I'm hesitant to do it now.

And that's just because the 9.7-inch iPad is big enough. At least, I think it is, especially as an iOS-based device. The way that iOS works, and putting apps front-and-center while you're using them, the 9.7-inch display works perfectly. For devices running Windows 8, which allows you to do two things at once? Sure, a bigger display makes sense. But that's not iOS. (For better or worse.)

If you're using the iPad as a laptop replacement, then I imagine a larger tablet would make sense for you. However, we'd have to start talking about price here, too. If Apple is indeed making a larger iPad, and it measures in around 13-inches, then it would be perfectly "reasonable" for Apple to charge more for the tablet.

So, are we talking $100 more for the comparable size in memory to the 9.7-inch model? If that's the case, then we'd be looking at a 12.9-inch (guess) 16GB model running you $599. The 32-, 64-, and 128GB models would run you $699, $799, and $899 respectively. But that's just the Wi-Fi models. Throw in LTE-connectivity, and you get $729; $829; $929; and $1,019.

Those are expensive tablets. And at that price, just as we've seen from the current generation of iPads and their high price tags, it'd be more than enough room for people to point out it's running iOS, and not a "full" operating system. Which, if you're dropping $1,019 for a new tablet, is probably a justifiable concern.

But then again, it always comes down to the individual. Maybe the inclusion of LTE-connectivity makes the higher price tag make sense, especially with the larger display. In fact, maybe the price doesn't seem so high, when you consider that some iPad-based keyboard accessories aren't that expensive. It could make sense as a laptop replacement for you.

For me, though, I'm just not seeing the point of a larger iPad. They would be expensive right from the get-go, and really expensive down the line. Unlike the iPhone, I don't think the iPad line needs a larger display. As a two-device family, between the original iPad and the iPad Mini, I think they've got the perfect set up for available products. The 9.7-inch display sits just fine at the top of the screen sizes for their mobile-specific market.

But, what do you think? Do you believe Apple should launch an iPad with a larger display, somewhere around 13-inches? Or should the Cupertino-based company keep the current 9.7-inch screen size the high-end? Let me know!