By Jim Karpen on Fri, 01/03/2014
Today two rumors have condensed into one. The first is that Apple is working on a 12-inch iPad that many are referring to as the "iPad Pro." The second is that Apple is working on a game-changing laptop that will be as portable as the 11-inch MacBook Air but as productive as the 13-inch MacBook Air. According to AppleInsider, one analyst has figured out that these two rumored projects may be the same one: Apple will come out with a tablet/laptop hybrid in the fall. This is possible, he says, because the new A7 64-bit processor gives the iPad much more robust computing power—on par with desktop computers. In addition, given that the A7 processor is less expensive than the processor currently used in the MacBook, this would also help lower costs.
The hybrid device might be similar in some ways to Microsoft's Surface tablet. However, as a report on Yahoo Finance notes, Apple CEO Tim Cook has in the past had a scornful attitude toward Microsoft's hybrid approach: "Our competition is confused. They're turning tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets." So it would be odd if Apple would itself take this direction. Still, if Apple is indeed going after the enterprise market with a 12-inch iPad, it would only make sense to offer an integrated keyboard as an option, and to make available a suite of enterprise-class software.
So what else might Apple be working on for 2014? AppleInsider has posted an overview of the rumors so far, including wearable devices, larger iPhones and iPads, and a possible TV initiative. So far, the most likely candidate for a new class of product is the iWatch.