Ahead of next month’s
rumored all-but-unconfirmed launch of the newest models of the iPhone, several inside sources are reporting that, once again, Apple is considering producing a larger, 12.9 inch iPad for 2015.
It’s not that I don’t believe that Apple could be pondering a 13 inch model of the iPad– tablet sales have been in decline for 2 straight quarters now, and since Apple does lead that category in general, they may be looking to once again shake up the market. In reality, though, it’s a simple matter of whether or not a 13 inch iPad would be worth the price.
And, honestly, I can’t say it would be.
The iPad (and, I’d argue, tablets in general) are great devices for things like media consumption– television, videos, eBooks, etc –but, as I’ve found recently, not so great for anything work-related. Even with Apple’s recent introduction of Microsoft Office productivity apps (Word, Excel, etc), anything you could conceivably need to do on your iPad would probably be easier just to do with a laptop.
(My recent purchase of an iPad prompted this survey of whether you could ditch your laptop for, say, the Microsoft Surface 3, if you’re looking for a quick poll to take)
Sure, attaching a keyboard (sold separately) does improve the potential for productivity on the iPad some– and, one could argue, the addition of a USB port or two would enable wireless mouse connectivity, which, again, would help bolster the usage capabilities of the tablet.
But, think about this: your standard 9.7″ 32GB iPad model, brand new, with WiFi + Cellular retails for about $730 (plus the $20+/month for data). Plus, you’ll need a keyboard– another $25 or so. For $200 more, you could get a 13″ Macbook Air, likely the most superior laptop on the market (biased opinion, of course) with 128GB of storage, keyboard and touchpad mouse included. If you wanted something smaller, the 11″ model will run you only $100 more than the latest iPad, and still includes 128GB of storage, keyboard, USB ports, etc.
Apple would likely charge a bit more for the 13″ iPad than the 9.7″ model– even if they didn’t, though, a consumer would have to decide whether spending a bit less money for a Macbook Air-light would even be worth it. You’d essentially be getting a Macbook Air Touch (I should copyright that)– a Macbook Air with none of the built-in features (USB, keyboard, touchpad) but with a touchscreen.
Touchscreens are cool & all, but for productivity purposes, I’d take a fully-functional Macbook over a screen you can touch any day.
To me, a 13 inch iPad just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from a consumer standpoint– then again, it could make some in-roads into the segmented laptop/tablet crowd for Apple. What do you think? Would you be willing to purchase a 13″ version of the iPad?