Apple got close to releasing a 14-inch iPad this year

Sep 4, 2023

Apple reportedly got close to releasing a new iPad this year. And it wasn't a regular sized one, it was a 14-inch iPad.

Apple wanted to launch a 14-inch iPad

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman writes in his Power On newsletter that Apple wanted to launch its biggest iPad in 2023. The company had been working on the device since 2021. This isn't exactly shocking news. As MacRumors notes, we saw a similar rumor about a year ago, when 3 leakers, Gurman, Majin Bu and Ross Young, had on separate occasions mentioned that Apple was developing a 14.1-inch iPad Pro. They had claimed that the tablet in question would have MiniLEDs and ProMotion display.

(iPad Pro 12.9-inch image used for reference)

In fact, there was a third leak, via The Information's Wayne Ma, who had said that Apple was working on a 16-inch iPad. Display manufacturers, BOE and LG, were even said to be working on 15-inch OLED displays for iPads. The leakers had expected Apple to announce the devices in 2023, but Young had later told that the company had shelved the plans for the 14-inch tablet.

So, what happened? Gurman says that Apple had faced some hurdles in making the move from LCD to OLED. The transition is expected to be expensive, and it would incur considerably higher costs for larger screen sizes. The next-gen iPad Pro models are expected to come with a 13-inch screen. It is unclear whether the Cupertino would launch a bigger tablet in the future.

Is a 14-inch iPad too big? Apple's current lineup of iPads include a 10.9-inch and a 12.9-inch model. The latter is already close to the MacBook Air 13-inch, if you were to compare the sizes of the screens. But taking it to 14.1-inches or 16 would mean that it would be in direct competition with the MacBook lineup. What's the point here? The device would be too bulky to be used comfortably because of its size, and the fact it has a touch screen. If you had to place it on a desk to use it, you might as well use a laptop.

As I mentioned recently, the problem with iPad sales performing poorly isn't related to the devices' hardware. The tablets are powerful, at least the iPad Pro models which have an Apple Silicon chip are. But these devices are crippled by iPadOS and its weak app ecosystem. Apple needs to ditch iPadOS, and let these devices run on macOS. Increasing the size of the display does not solve this problem. A big screen device such as the iPad 14.1-inch Pro could also be quite expensive, which may also be unappealing to buyers.

Apple's next-gen Magic Keyboard could have an Aluminium top case

Gurman says that Apple's redesigned Magic Keyboard, which we reported about a week ago, will have a premium look and materials. The keyboard's top case will be aluminium, similar to recent MacBooks. The move from Silicone to metal will reduce bending, tearing issues while providing a sturdy experience. However, the cover material on the upcoming Magic Keyboard is expected to be made of Silicone. The keyboard will have a single USB-C port, and a larger trackpad. This could cause the price of the accessory to go up from its current tag of $299.

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Apple got close to releasing a 14-inch iPad this year
Apple wanted to launch its biggest iPad this year, but scrapped its plan.
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