It looks like the rumored larger iPad is targeting the Chromebook market, especially the Chromebook Pixel. The Chromebook market share is almost non-existent at the moment but Apple could soon to open up a whole new market by perfecting what others have failed. The Chromebook Pixel is too clunky, has no detachable keyboard, and shows poor battery life. It is no match for ordinary notebooks, yet it lacks the flexibility of a tablet. Its pricing is also too expensive as a toy that you would use for a short while. It just doesn’t fit into any consumer’s checklists.
A larger iPad could solve all these problems. It is likely to have a higher quality Retina display than the current iPads to match the Chromebook Pixel. It probably doesn’t come with a keyboard out of the box, but you can buy third party keyboards to attach to it. Apple is likely to make their own full sized keyboard like the Microsoft Surface. The point is you can buy a keyboard if you like, but it will function just as well without one. It is likely to boast full day battery life since it is a 12-13” tablet with lots of battery space. They probably won’t make it very light since there already is the iPad Air option available.
Why did Apple delay this product a year after the Chromebook Pixel? I suppose there is no real hurry to rush into this market since Chromebooks are not doing well anyways. The hardware is also not a surprisingly difficult task, I may assume, since it is only a larger iPad? I think the real issue is the software. Look at the current iOS 7 on iPads, it is heavily criticised for poor use of screen real estate, there are all these empty screen spaces doing nothing. Also the fact that it can’t really multitask. If Apple want their larger iPad to succeed, they really have to step up their game with their iOS for iPad. The best option is having 2 or more apps running side by side on the screen. If they don’t even include such a rudimentary feature, I am not buying.
The pricing is likely to come about the same as the MacBook Air. People can then decide whether they want a laptop without a touch screen, or a notebook sized iPad that can truly multitask with a keyboard as option. Inevitably tablets will cannibalize even more of the notebook market.