A rumor surfaced back kin May that Apple was working on a new 12.9" iPad for 2014. The larger tablet could be a better fit for the educational market and/or as part of a new notebook-tablet hybrid product. Today, a new rumor report suggests that the slowdown in Apple's 9.7 iPad model may force Apple to enlarge the iPad to further differentiate it from the iPad mini. Whether this product becomes a reality is unknown at this time but Samsung is definitely taking this threat very seriously and is reportedly working on a larger tablet for next year.
DigiTimes states that Samsung is reportedly developing tablets with a 12-inch or larger display echoing rumors that Apple reportedly has similar plans. Sources from the upstream supply chain believe the vendors are trying to create a new market segment to get away from competition from small-size devices. However the moves could impact demand for conventional notebooks, the sources noted.
Global tablet shipments dropped 9.7% sequentially to only 45.1 million units in the second quarter. Apple also saw its iPad shipments drop from 19.5 million units in the first quarter to only 14.6 million units in the second, showing that the market segment is already facing weakening growth, the sources noted citing figures from IDC.
The report states that Samsung is likely to be more aggressive about developing related tablet models than Apple, since Apple still has 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs that could be directly impacted by large-size tablets. That's true, but in context with a possible new hybrid MacBook, Apple could be thinking of blurring the lines between the two product categories down the line to better serve both education and enterprise markets.