A 13-inch iPad Could Create New Tablet Markets for Apple

| Particle Debris

When we think about a 13-inch iPad, we can't just think about a larger display for things like reading, art and designing.  Instead, there comes a point where a larger iPad creates whole new markets and applications. Let's speculate.


When one thinks about a larger iPad, one might think about how easier it would be to read magazines and newspapers, decipher maps and create art. But then, after some reflection, one realizes that 1) the size jump on a personal, financial basis isn't worth it, 2) not that many people would need one and 3) it's not that portable.

And so the product idea is easy to dismiss.

13 -inch iPad concept from Macrumors, used with permission.

Instead, when I think about a 12.9-inch iPad, I think about enablement. That is, what unforeseen activities would suddenly become feasible that weren't before? What new markets would be enabled? What activities formerly done on a PC would look like candidates for a larger iPad in a way that weren't thought of before?

In other words, the level of technology disruption would be completely unrelated to the percent increase in screen size, going from 9.7 to 12.9 inches.

Apple's job, as always, is to figure that out. That's because if a larger iPad doesn't resonate with potential new markets, the sales won't be to Apple's satisfaction. Apple doesn't invest big bucks in manufacturing unless it expects a significant return on investment.

I can't say I know right now what those markets might be with certainty, those that will generate the ROI Apple wants. Some candidates in my mind are field maps for infantry men, publication design and layout, computer aided design (CAD), point of sale terminals, scientific visualization, 4K video editing (see below), more impactful games, training, retail store displays and, finally, data center, airport, shipboard and military status displays.

Image credit: Shutterstock.

As we move to larger iPads, we may have to move from friendly single app displays to multiple apps on the screen, data sharing, and possibly end-user computer languages combined with graphics packages. All this violates the current thinking about how a single person uses an iPad in a friendly, personal way. So it will be interesting to see how tempting it will be -- and technically challenging -- for Apple to create new markets that further impinge on the classic PC and fuel Apple's iPad ambitions.


Tech News Debris for the Week of 25 November and 2 December

Let's say Apple does introduce a 13-inch iPad Pro. (They will.) If you scale up a 2048 x 1536 display to 12.9 inches diagonally, the pixel density drops to 198 ppi (pixels per inch). That's not Retina class. So what would Apple do? Rene Ritche delves into all that with "Imagining a 13-inch iPad Pro" and looks at 3K and 4K options.

Which companies are using which technologies to protect your data? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has produced an infographic, "Encrypt the Web Report: Who's Doing What" This chart should raise a serious ruckus and embarrass a few of the companies, including Apple.

Partial chart. Credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation. See text.

The technology of mobile payments is still in flux. Brian S. Hall sizes it all up in this report: "The mobile payments melee rages on."

This the time of year when we, perhaps, spend more time in bookstores and start thinking about eBook readers for ourselves or as gifts, so it's not a happy affair to hear about Barnes & Noble in a bit of trouble with the Nook. "Barnes & Noble’s Nook business falls more than 32%"

When observers take on on Microsoft, the one bright spot often pointed to is the success of the Xbox. But there's a problem. After expenses associated with bringing it to market, Microsoft is losing money on every Xbox One it sells. Solution? Sell a lot of them.

It is conventional wisdom that violent computer games lead to real-world violence amongst kids. Yet, so far as I know, no research has ever proven that notion. Here's a great article by Maria Konnikova at The New Yorker on why research has not led to that conclusion. In fact, first-person shooter games may actually sync with our DNA in an atavistic, beneficial way that shouldn't be too surprising. Yet it is. "Why Gamers Can’t Stop Playing First-Person Shooters." So when we see Apple celebrate certain games at a keynote, there's a whole new perspective.

What's it really like to work at an Amazon warehouse, um, fulfillment center? Why, send in a journalist, of course to get a job and then tell all. And wow does Carole Cadwalladr tell all. You'll be spellbound. "My week as an Amazon insider." It's a good article to have on your mind as you buy your holiday gifts.

Does wearing Google Glass while you drive constitute a driving infraction in the same manner as texting? Here's food for thought. "Driver ticketed for wearing Glass fights charges in court."

Ben Greenman at The New Yorker doesn't especially like the iOS 7 music player on the iPhone. In fact, he thinks the music interface has been broken. It could be, in my opinion, that Apple has transitioned from focusing on playing the music you have to focusing on music discovery. After all, that makes Apple more money, and I think that may be at play here. Check out "Why iOS 7 Gets Music Playing Wrong." What do you think?

Could this discovery lead to a whole new generation of electronic devices? It just goes to show that the wondrous laws of physics afford continuing opportunities that might lead to even thinner, faster iPads and iPhones. So far, it's a glimmer -- but a tantalizing one.

This is the time of year when many journalists make predictions. Here's an especially good set based on technology trends instead of idiosyncratic predictions of specific products. "Siri Gets Serious, Microsoft Gets Its Mojo Back and Everything Gets Encrypted in 2014."

Finally, here's a good primer on Apple's iBeacon. If you haven't heard about iBeacon, now is the time to get up to speed. "Apple guides shoppers inside stores with iBeacon."


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week combined with a summary of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.




Regarding The New Yorker article on the iOS 7 music player, I focus on this quote:

The problem is compounded when you drill down into the Artist menus. In the past, when you selected an artist you passed through to a submenu of all the albums that belonged to that artist. Now an artist’s catalogue (or the portion of the catalogue on your phone) is presented in one long ladder. It’s divided by album, but not in any especially useful way. And, because the album art is still large and obnoxious, the contents of the album become minimized and obscured.

I’ve complained about that lack of an artist/album submenu in the past, but for whatever reason keep getting slammed by TMO readers every time I say something negative about iOS 7. The complaints are valid. Usability was taken away for either a sense of fashion or Ive-Knows-What in iOS 7, period, the artist/album sub-menu the worst offender, IMNSHO. Getting rid of the artist/album sub-menu was the worst of the worst of iOS offenses IMHO and its nice to see that a writer of the caliber of The New Yorker concurs.

I have used and have and continue to make my living on Apple products since 1988, starting with a Mac Plus rented at Kinko’s and up to my present iPhone and iMacs (one at home, one at work). I know and love Apple, but have no hesitation to call them out when I think they’ve screwed up, hence my oft-spoken criticism of iOS 7.


The person wearing GoogleGlasses while driving should be severely punished. First her argument that it wasn’t on until she looked at the cop is a non starter. There’s no way for her to prove it was or wasn’t. This IMO is a corollary to open container laws. Get pulled over with an open bottle on the seat next to you and try arguing that it was open but you weren’t drinking and see how far that gets you. On a larger note that GG are distracting and occupy part of your mind when in use is well established. I don’t want to see anyone using cell phones, even hands free ones, when driving. They distract you from what should be the most important job, safely controlling a ton of high speed steel. She wants to use something that lets her read e-mail and text and Skype with a screen in front of her face while she’s driving? Let me amend my first statement. She should permanently lose her license for gross stupidity. No sympathy here.

I like the Siri one. However while my wife and I’ve played with her a couple of times it’s way way WAY to inaccurate and just simple minded to do anything else with. We won’t use it until I can ask a plain English question and not get a wash of irrelevant Internet links. At this point, though we have played with her a couple of times, she’s just not ready for prime time. And to be brutally honest I don’t WANT to talk to my device. I have something with a web browser and texting for a reason.

Microsoft is in serious trouble and I don’t see the prediction of 1 CEO and 2 presidents either happening or helping if it does. The back stabbing and turf defense is entrenched down many layers and will take a lot more than a CEO and a lot longer than a year to clean out.

I’d like to see harder and harder encryption. Unfortunately as long as the average user uses Password or 12345678 to unlock their computer/device/bank account it won’t help. What is needed is something beyond passwords because the human mind just can’t keep track of multiple passwords, or even one, of sufficient complexity any more. And it’s not fingerprints or any other biometric solution either. Your finger just unlocks a built in code and the hackers just go for that code and skip the biometric part.



I no longer use an iOS device for listening to music or podcasts. Fortunately I still have a 80 GB iPod Classic. (maybe I should buy another; it’s years old)
It’s much easier to navigate through all the different views and menus on an iPod and when I play the Mac Geek Gab podcasts I can see the Chapter titles!

This strategy has freed up space on my 16GB 4s, but unfortunately I’m now sometimes carrying around 2 devices again.

The whole thing worked fine on the phone when it had an “iPod” app (Version 3 or 4, can’t remember?)

Lee Dronick

  for whatever reason keep getting slammed by TMO readers every time I say something negative about iOS 7.

You and I could be the founding members of that club smile



mrmwebmax & LeeD,  I hope you keep on posting your ideas despite the flak. Constructive criticism can lead to constructive dialog, and sometimes creative solutions. That’s what many of us read the comments for.


As an artist, a larger iPad would be welcome, but ONLY if it has a pressure sensitive screen and a fine tipped stylus to go with it (or a fine tipped pressure sensitive stylus). Drawing with a finger or a stylus (like the Griffin one I bought and promptly shoved in the bottom of my briefcase) is more a novelty than an actual tool.

Don’t worry about catching flak, mrm. I don’t post much about why I hate iTunes: because it’s not a music player anymore. It’s this giant mishmash of media player, media cataloger, and media store that can’t do any of those things right. Apple needs to break it up into separate apps to do each thing they need to do, but they seem afraid to.

Gareth Harris

Once again I want to point out the future of tablets is in the workplace. So far individuals have been the main buyers and users. The reason a tablet is suitable for the work floor or vehicle is that it is a complete package, mostly immune to the environment and does not have any dangling parts or protrusions [despite many lowers that want to plug things such as USB or SD into one]. Already we are seeing heavy use a POS terminals, etc. A mobile display needs sufficient screen area. 13” sounds good.


First, with Geoduck, YES about NO on driving while using Google Glass. (I may have missed it if someone else said this, so please forgive any redundancy). ANY use of it while in control of a moving vehicle on public roads (including bicycle) should be illegal. Even while looking forward, one’s attention will be *distracted* to the Google data. And just as law enforcement can and should check one’s cell phone activity at the time of the collision, they should have access to whatever sort of log Google Glass must be generating.

Anyone’s complaints about “MY PRIVACY!” must fall subordinate to the fact that a seven-year old may not look both ways when running out into the residential street. If you control the vehicle, DRIVE.

And yes, bicycles, because once the distracted cyclist realizes she’s suddenly about two seconds from hitting that now-open door of that previously unnoticed parked car, she swerves out into the automobile lane. She might escape injury when the car driver slams on the brakes, but the four-car fender bender that results is absolutely her fault, just because she had to make sure she was up-to-the-minute on that IM dialogue.

Second, a 13” iPad? Sounds like a set-up to the flip side of Saturday Night Live’s “commercial” about the proliferation of smaller in-between sizes.  (You find 6” a bit too tight in your pocket, but the smaller 5.25” leaves you unable to work Final Cut Pro with that 4K video you co-produced with Steven Spielberg? We have the new 5.6” iPad. Perfect.”)

Constable Odo

All the iHaters will be saying, “It’s just an even bigger iPod Touch.”  That’s how the tech industry will see it.  Microsoft will claim it’s just a bigger, crippled device that runs an inferior mobile OS.  Naturally, Microsoft always wants to sell an honest-to-goodness full blown copy of Windows because that’s how they make their money.  Microsoft will yell how Windows 8 can do so much, much more than some useless iOS, so I hope that this new tablet runs some new hybrid tablet OS that bridges OSX or something of the sort.  Microsoft is always bragging how their Windows OS can do everything so much better than every other OS on the planet.  That’s so ridiculous.  Most consumers do not require such great capability in their everyday computing.

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