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Apple testing 13in screen iPad to complement Macbook, rumours state

Apple is reportedly testing larger size screens for its iPad that could signal a move to scupper the success of Microsoft’s Surface range.

Barclays Equity Research thinks Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip, which is expected to power the upcoming iPad 5, will signal a sea change in Apple’s strategy that will eventually see a 13in iPad to challenge the tablet computer space.

"The whole iOS app ecosystem, extra-long battery life, ultraportability and user familiarity could be more compelling than a Mac if Apple made a true effort," Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes wrote, according to CNET. "And we believe a larger screened iPad would be a much better PC replacement than current tablets, including the Surface, and really be able to take on higher end tasks and start another wave of notebook cannibalization."

The opinions of Reitzes are backed up by reports in the Wall Street Journal that larger versions of the iPad and iPhone have been tested and the Barclays analyst thinks the move would spark consumer interest that has tailed off.

“Even though the products are still positioned at the high end of the market, both the Mac and iPads have really lost their growth profile to smartphones. We believe a convertible strategy could change that dynamic by attracting more of the consumer wallet again,” Reitzes added.

Reitzes expects the larger iPad to arrive within the next 18 months and it flies in the face of previous comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook when he stated that Microsoft’s Surface is a “compromised, confusing product”.

The tablet market is eagerly anticipating the release of the fifth generation of the iPad later this month with rumours stating that the 64-bit architecture will be at the heart of the new device. Its form factor is expected to be more in line with the iPad Mini as the body size is sacrificed to make the new slate tall and thin as opposed to its current guise.

Image Credit: Flickr (bump)