According to Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang, Apple is set to release a 12-inch iPad hybrid, taking the moniker of ‘iPad Pro,’ this fall and that it will revolutionise the notebook market.
Wang made his predictions in an investors note this week, a copy of which was received by AppleInsider. He predicts that the 12-inch device will be powered by Apple’s next generation “A8″ processor and will launch in the Fall of 2014.
He also said that such a device would expand the ready of chipmaker ARM, which makes the reference designs for Apple’s A-series processors – this would likely come at a cost to Intel who has been the dominant player in traditional computer chips, resulting in greater price competition.
In particular, Wang noted that the Intel processor in Apple’s MacBook Air notebook is estimate to account for 22% of the device’s bill of materials. In contrast, the ARM chip in Apple’s 128GB iPad is estimated to represent only 4% of the device’s cost to Apple.
Wang’s predictions come off the back of Apple’s A7 processor. The 64-bit, desktop class, processor powers Apple’s latest iPad Air, Retina iPad mini and iPhone 5s. Wang believes it is a “game-changer” and sets the stage for the introduction of an “iPad Pro” hybrid device.
The iPad Air name for Apple’s latest 9.7-inch iPad led some to speculate that it was to open up a space for a Pro device, similar to how Apple’s MacBook lines are positioned.
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is working on 12.9-inch displays that would potentially replace Apple’s low-end, 11-inch MacBook Air, so there’s certainly some smoke. Whether or not there is fire remains to be seen.
Contrary to previous rumors, Wang predicts that Apple will not simply release a larger-screened device – he believes that Apple will use the opportunity to release a hybrid-style device that will serve as both a tablet and notebook, a particularly appealing prospect for business customers.
What do you think? Is a 12-inch, iPad Pro hybrid device something you would be interested in? Let us know in the comments