Large iPad ditched? Not dead yet, says analyst

Don't cross a large Apple tablet off your 2014 buying list yet, an analyst tells CNET.

iPad Air.  A larger iPad or hybrid is still possible this year, an analyst tells CNET.
iPad Air. A larger iPad or hybrid is still possible this year, an analyst tells CNET. Apple

A large Apple tablet isn't out of the question this year, an analyst told CNET, in the wake of a report today saying the device is "shelved."

"The problem so far is that the use-case hasn't been made for a large tablet yet," said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research at IHS Technology.

That sentiment was echoed in a CNET review of the large Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, which said interface and performance issues hold it back from being a laptop replacement.

A report today from Digitimes claimed that shipments of Samsung's 12.2-inch tablet will be relatively small this year for similar reasons.

The report also claimed that Apple has "shelved" its large tablet.

Not so fast, said Alexander. "It could happen if a [device maker] comes along and makes the use-case along with the size. So, for instance, if you have a company that offers touch-enabled Microsoft Office, where it's useful to have more screen area to see what you're doing," she said.

She continued. "It would be interesting to see if Apple goes down the road of maybe a blend of their [MacBook] Air product and their traditional iPad product."

And what about the chances of this happening in 2014?

"We haven't built it into our forecasts yet because we want to see something more concrete. But think about what [Apple] did with the new iPad. It was three or four months before they released the product. So, if it's, let's say an October release -- and this is all just speculation -- it's possible they wouldn't ramp up production on the component level until summertime."

Alexander added that the iPad Air has changed the tablet game for Apple. Before, the iPad Mini seemed like the wave of the future but the "iPad Air is significant in that they managed to shift the tablet purchase balance back up to the [bigger] 9.7-inch."

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