We’ve had lots of talk recently about the blurring of the lines between tablet and laptop by Apple, and rumors of a 16-inch Pad Pro Max. Over at Wired, Craig Grannell argues that this would confuse the product line and provide little value for users. I’m inclined to agree.

The 16in crowd nonetheless bangs on that bigger is always better and appears to divide into two distinct camps. The first includes designers and artists who – perfectly reasonably – love bigger canvases they can directly interact with. But on talking to such people, you quickly realise their dream isn’t a mere 16in, but something closer to an A3 iPad Pro (as in, a 20in model) – or bigger. They’re driven by the idea of a Wacom Cintiq that would have the elegance and simplicity of, well, an iPad. But expand the iPad’s dimensions by too much and it ceases to be portable, meaning you cannot use it to be creative anywhere you please. It stops being a consumption device, thereby eroding its versatility. And it becomes colossally expensive, making the device far less viable. In short, it would no longer be an iPad in any meaningful sense, being too niche to be broadly useful – to the point hardly anyone would buy one.

Check It Out: But do You Really Want a 16-inch iPad?

7 Comments Add a comment

  1. ChrisLaarman

    There may well be a market for iPads (a bit) larger than 13″, as soon as Apple becomes aware of their potential as business assets rather than (mere) consumer gadgets.

    The two examples I have given in earlier comments (across the Web) are: producing a musical and supervising infrastructural projects (like major railway projects, as in progress here in Europe). The person in charge can trust to have (access to) any data of any type, at any stage of the project, anytime, anywhere.

    I’m still hoping to read an iPad review by such persons.

  2. palmac

    I’d buy a 16″ iPad the day it was available. Heck, I’d camp out in front of the Apple store for an 18″ iPad. But of all the people I know who own an iPad there’s only one who might join me in that makeshift camp site. I also agree that having so many different sizes might dilute the market, but remember there is a market for high-end, high-powered, large-size stuff. With the advances Apple is making in AR a 16″-18″ iPad could be ideal for content creators out in the field.

    Worst case scenario is Apple releases a bigger iPad Pro and it doesn’t sell as well as they hoped, eventually discontinuing it a couple years later. Oh, yes, and there will also be a lot of accompanying industry articles with headlines along the lines of “Apple is Doomed! DOOMED, I say! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMED!”

  3. W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

    Charlotte:

    In answer to wired.co.uk’s question, in a word, ‘No’, or more precisely, ‘At least, not yet’.

    I think Wired get this mostly right, but get a bit hung up on the device and its present use case.

    We are on a gradual transition from a 20th Century computer model and use case to that of the 21st Century, and its paradigm of extending digitised human power everywhere and ever more personally.

    As the iPad user base in the Apple community grows in both size and stature, use case will expand beyond its present limitations by popular – and diverse – demand. Apple will accommodate, but in ways that will address that future, and not present demand, and likely on a day when more if not most computers will be touchscreen capable. (If one adds smartphones and smart watches, we are effectively there, but these remain too limited for this discussion).

    Whatever Apple’s current iPad roadmap, the user community will require that they adapt it in ways that no one at present can precisely predict.

    Anticipate Apple adding more ‘iPad’ phenotypes.

    • geoduck

      That’s a good point. The Keyboard/Mouse/Display paradigm had a good run, but I suspect we are moving to a new interface, one based on touch and voice. The Mac led the way from keyboards and arcane commands to a GUI. The iPad will lead to the new model.

      • W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

        @geoduck.

        Yep. We’ll have more discussions about Apple’s apparent roadmap, and the iPad’s place within it, in the coming weeks.

Add a Comment

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter, Facebook) or Register for a TMO Account