Apple said to be preparing larger iPad for 2015: Could it drive vital enterprise growth?

Apple said to be preparing larger iPad for 2015: Could it drive vital enterprise growth?

Summary: A larger iPad may seem uninspiring to some, as the existing line-up of tablets begins to stagnate in sales figures. But there are three reasons why it might make sense.

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Apple is slated to build a 12.9-inch iPad in the coming year, according to a new report.

Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the plans, said on Tuesday the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant will in early-2015 begin producing the larger tablet — a bump from the existing 9.7-inch iPad, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

Apple declined to comment on the report. No surprise there.

It's not the first time Apple has been said to be preparing a larger tablet. But now the many pieces of Apple's growing enterprise business — and industry collaboration — are beginning to fall into place.

To wit:

Apple's enterprise business is slowing: The iPad line is decreasing in market share, Apple's quarterly earnings show. Although the tablet's share stands at about 99 percent in the Fortune 500 list of companies, its penetration rate is just 20 percent. Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said on the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings call that this could be far better. 

Still, Apple requires a catalyst to drive this market growth again, after numerous fiscal quarters' worth of decline and stagnation. Gartner data showed that Apple's iOS software had 36 percent in market share in 2013, down from 53 percent a year earlier. Consumers may have driven the initial spike in iPad uptake, but enterprise is where the revenue gravy train is.

Apple-IBM deal now has even more promise: By tying the collaboration knot, Apple and IBM are set to provide more than a hundred new, industry-specific apps for business customers. It's a win-win for both. Apple gains more share in the enterprise market, while IBM gets to sprinkle its own services directly into customers' hands.

Up until now, enterprise apps have either been ports from iPhone, or web-based and lacking luster. As Cook put it on the call: "Not all of the enterprise apps written for iPad have... taken full advantage of mobile."

Both companies have a stake in the partnership, but Apple has to make its devices work for the enterprise a little more. The company missed on revenue estimates in its fiscal third-quarter earnings as a result of a steep decline in iPad sales expectations.

Split-screen support is on its way with iOS 8: And what could really drive home the prior two points is the software iPads run. iOS 8, which is expected to launch in line with the iPhone 6's release, is also slated to include a Windows 8-esque split-screen mode, sister-site CNET reported in June. 

Having two apps open at the same time will surely drive enterprise users on the productivity front. But existing full-sized iPads may struggle in how much can be displayed side-by-side — a reported quarter, half, and three-quarters width of the entire display. Despite the widely accepted flop of Windows 8, the "snapping" feature remains a strong feature for those who use multiple apps at the same time. Apple has yet to introduce fully-fledged multitasking.

Once it nails it, a larger iPad can accommodate more space for the apps you need access to at the same time.

Bottom line: Those three things tied together could provide the pieces that make enterprise customers salivate at the thought of a larger iPad.

Although mobility is key, a larger iPad may not be the defining or striking feature going here. But as a notebook replacement goes, it may be just be what puts the final nail in the traditional PC market's coffin.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Enterprise Software, iOS, Mobility

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  • Apple said to be preparing larger iPad for 2015: Could it drive vital enter

    • No.

      iOS is too limiting and dumbed down.
      Sean Foley
      • Mmmm....A bigger business ready ipad....let me think about this

        I got it... it's already here and it's called a Surface pro 3.
      • I think your right on the money there.

        I believe your correct on that. However, it's perfect for aging babyboomers and hippies.

        Many of those types of people have to wear glasses. So a bigger screen would be a welcome feature.

        I've already created a sample advertisement which I think Phil Schiller's marketing team will try to copy the concept.

        So check it out--
        • I guess no

          Most people who wear glasses, especially when positioned horizontally, take them off to use a tablet. The tablet gets closer to the eyes so that the size matters less while the pixel density matters more. Apple should target some other segment.
      • Sorry

        You have it wrong. Our entire sales force dumped laptops and moved to iPad's 2 years ago. This year we deployed Citrix XenMobile and executives never take their MacBooks out of the offices anymore.

        A larger iPad could easily displace some laptops at my company. It won't completely kill off Windows anytime soon at my company. That said 95% of users at my company use a Wyse Thin clients so we are killing PC sales in a big way.
        • Ahhh ... Citrix! That's how Microsoft wins ...

          ... it doesn't matter what device you own as long as Citrix supports it. You see, Citrix is in the business of running Windows applications IN THE CLOUD and delivering them to your device - any device. So, in the end, no matter how many mobile devices are bought at commodity price-points, the cloud remains dominated by Microsoft and it's partners.

          Without a presence in the enterprise machine room, mobile device makers (including Apple, who has not penetrated the enterprise machine room with Macintosh either) will be dependent upon a Microsoft dominated cloud for services.
          M Wagner
        • Expensive - Dumb terminals?

          That connect to a work server running REAL applications.

          but stuck with a small screen and limited Ram.

          Seems kind of backwards, but I guess the plus side is IT doesn't have to deal with all those updates.
        • Your one company.

          The world is hundreds of thousands of companies, maybe millions I guess.

          One guy coming on here telling us how his one company blew their money dosnt mean anything in the real world. I know dozens on dozens of companies and I know as a fact such an idea will never ever float. In any of them. Its ridiculous for most companies.
      • This.

        The iPad's screen size isn't why I don't want it in my enterprise; it's the fact that it's a nightmare to deploy and manage these devices on a large scale. That, plus I don't want to lock my enterprise in with a single vendor to the extent that drinking the iOS Kool-Aid would require.
        • mobile device management software...

          too difficult to get your little parrot head around?
          • Why Two Systems?

            I have a system for device management--SCCM integrated into Active Directory. I can do way more with it than I can with any mobile device management solution available for iPads.
    • Re: No....

      Would you care to elaborate a little LD as by just saying No you sound as inadequate as your microshill bed pal Owl:Net.
      • @SF iOS is too limiting and dumbed down.

        At least you are capable of more than LD.

        So far SF you are winning the battle of the Microshills.

        Now where the hell is that annoying little .... Owl:Net

        When he arrives You LD and Owl:Net can have a Microshill party.
        • I will repeat

          a comment by Owl:Net I saw earlier...

          "Surface Envy"

          Nuff said
          • "surface envy" ??

            Sounds to me like 'ebola envy'

            And what has a keyboard-free laptop got to do with it?
          • Maybe the M$ fanbois have 'Sales Envy'?

            Just sayin
        • Look, I think LRD purposly talks like an idiot. But it is NO.

          A bigger iPad is a solution looking for a problem. How many people have pointed out the sweet spot for tablets is actually probably 7-8 inches for the largest number of users.

          Its not to say the larger iPad is not going to found to be marvelous by some. Im sure it will. And as with every Apple product ever made price will be a huge point. Because Apple prices are generally huge.

          But all mobile devices except Windows Pro type devices are currently operated by hobbled mobile OS's. The only universal business capacity for mobile devices is they can produce documents. But they make nothing as easy as it is with a full OS device like OSX or Windows.

          Windows RT was crap as well for serious usage.

          Microsoft has no major worries until OSX itself makes it onto a tablet. Then Microsoft will have to wonder how it looks for them is millions of fully functional OSX tablets are in the hands of millions of company employees and consumers.

          Of course, the funny thing is, when many people pointed out how a hobbled mobile OS like iOS just want a great idea and Apple should have found a way to go OSX on iPads, of course the Apple fans told us how Apple got it absolutely right and Microsoft has it absolutely wrong with full Windows on a tablet like Surface Pro.

          There is just plain old no way no how can the vast majority of the millions of businesses around the world put to real good use and worth the expense of a large iOS tablet.

          Please, common sense.
          • I have a use for it straightaway

            I use lots of music creation apps that are only available on iOS and they will be a lot better on a larger screen. BTW I'm OS agnostic.
          • Well ...

            It maybe good for playing around with and for on the go ... and even for using it as a touch controller for real music equipment ... but for serious music creation you still need OSX or Windows and a desktop system.

            You are right that a bigger screen will help ... but two or three are even better.

            Just because something is possible it doesn't make it a sensible way to do things ... and a bigger screen doesn't solve any of the serious problems that non-surface tablets have.