Market Overview

Apple Rumor Mill Strikes Back, Promises Large iPad In 2014

Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) could be the first manufacturer to release a 12-inch tablet, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) may not be far behind.

According to an AppleInsider translation of a report by Chinese-language site PadNews, Foxconn (OTC: HNHPF) is testing two large-format iPads.

One features an 11.4-inch display, making it slightly larger than the 9.7-inch iPad Air. The other is a mammoth, 12.9-inch iPad that would dwarf virtually every device on the market.

Blurring The Lines

By developing larger tablets, tech companies are inadvertently blurring the lines between tablets and notebooks.

Right now, there is a pretty clear distinction between the two. Most tablets are 10 inches or less. Over the past 12 months, the most popular tablets featured a display that was no bigger than 7.9 inches. This made it easy for manufacturers to separate tablets from the average notebook, which typically offer a 13-inch display.

If iPads continue to get bigger and bigger (despite consumers' preference for smaller tablets), there is going to come a point when consumers no longer want to buy notebooks. Some would say that day has already come.

Related: iPad Air Is Cheaper, More Profitable Than iPad 3

Many manufacturers have added touch screens to their notebooks, hoping to make them more appealing to touch-conscious consumers. Thus far, consumers don't seem to care.

Replacing The MacBook

Apple might be building larger tablets in preparation for the MacBook's eventual demise.

Mac sales dropped five percent during the June quarter, and fell another six percent during the September quarter.

Apple is not the only company facing this problem. Nearly every notebook manufacturer has experienced sales declines in 2013.

That said, Apple is the only premium manufacturer that has been actively reducing the price of its MacBooks.

If that strategy fails and MacBook sales continue to fall, the company could one day build a more powerful iPad to replace the ailing notebook.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple foxconn iPad iPad Air MacBookNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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