Apple came really close to surprising us with a whopping 14-inch iPad this year, according to a recent newsletter by tech insider Mark Gurman. Apparently, Apple had been toying with the idea of a super-sized iPad since 2021, but it seems like this particular project is no longer on their immediate to-do list.
One of the challenges in making this giant iPad was the transition to OLED displays, which are more expensive when you’re dealing with larger screens. Initially, rumors suggested that the upcoming iPad Pro models would max out at 13 inches when they hit the market in the first half of 2024.
Gurman had initially hinted at Apple’s exploration of bigger iPads, ones that could bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. In early 2022, news broke that suppliers like BOE and LG were gearing up to produce massive 15-inch OLED displays for Apple’s future iPad endeavors. Around the same time, the mysterious leaker known as “Majin Bu” claimed that Apple was cooking up a 14.1-inch iPad with the powerful M2 chip.
This rumor was corroborated by industry analyst Ross Young, who mentioned it would sport a mini-LED display but wouldn’t have ProMotion technology for super-smooth 120Hz refresh rates. However, later that year, Young revised his prediction, saying Apple had shifted to using an LCD display for this mystery device, similar to what’s found in the iPad mini and iPad Air.
Then, in October 2022, Wayne Ma from The Information reported that Apple was secretly developing a gigantic 16-inch iPad, aiming for a fourth-quarter release in 2023. If this project sees the light of day, it would offer a screen size comparable to that of a 16-inch MacBook Pro, giving users a much larger canvas for their work. But in December of the same year, Young dropped the bombshell that Apple had shelved its plans for the 14.1-inch iPad, leaving us all wondering about the fate of these larger tablet dreams.
Despite all the twists and turns in the rumor mill, Apple seems to have a lingering interest in creating bigger iPads. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any significant changes in iPad sizes, with the largest options being the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models since 2018. To put it in perspective, these are still smaller than the smallest MacBooks—the M1 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro, which boast 13.3-inch displays. Given that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro might get a slight bump to 13 inches soon, it looks like Apple might be inching closer to offering a considerably larger iPad model.
While the 14.1-inch iPad project might be on hold for now, Apple continues to innovate across its product range. We’ve seen this with their laptops as well, with the latest rumors swirling around the latest MacBook Pro M3 and MacBook Air M3 release dates. Just as they’re pushing the boundaries of what an iPad can be, Apple is also keeping us intrigued with their laptop offerings.