Is Apple going to build a hybrid computer?
Several large computer makers already offer tablet/laptop hybrids, though Apple has been sitting on the sidelines, instead deciding to draw a line between its iPads and MacBook computers. While we expect there to be some kind of convergence between OS X and iOS at some point, it seems clear that Apple has no interest in combining tablets and computers into one versatile product. Or does it?
According to Patrick Wang, an analyst with Evercore Partners, Apple is working on an enterprise device with a 12-inch screen that will double as a tablet and a notebook. “Expect a 2-1 hybrid, think iPad + MBA – similar to how most iPads are used in the workplace and in the same spirit of MSFT’s Surface,” Wang said in a note obtained by Barron’s. Wang expects the device will run a new processor from Apple, the A8, and that it will launch next fall.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a larger iPad, though it is the first rumor that claims Apple has a hybrid in the works. Most rumors suggest that Apple is simply building a larger 12.9-inch iPad. Wang’s note is a bit hard to swallow right now; we really don’t see Apple heading into the hybrid market. Then again, Tim Cook did promise new product categories this year.