Wednesday, November 6, 2013

iPad Pro...

If you make an iPad Pro, with a bigger screen, what does that really mean to the pixels?

You can either keep the same 2048x1536 size of the current iPads and make bigger pixels or do a new screen resolution.

Keeping the same 2048x1536 pixels lets you make anything you'd want and every app works as-is. Just like the non-transition from iPad to iPad mini where everything just worked, the pixels would simply be bigger rather than smaller.  But bigger pixels will start to get below Apple's magic Retina numbers.

Instead you could also increase the resolution. The next nice "computer" numbers up that keep the same aspect ratio would be 2560x1920.

You could again make those pixels any size you want.  If you use exactly the same size pixels as the iPad Air, you go from a screen rectangle of 7.76" high by 5.82"wide up to about 9.7" by 7.28" which gets you a diagonal of around 12.13".  That seems a little big, but again you could make new LCD panels whatever size you want.  But it's in the ballpark for the screen size from various rumor websites.

Existing apps would run as-is, with a black border, much like iPhone-only apps on an iPad, or "short" apps on an iPhone 5 with the taller screen.  Apps that were boxed in wouldn't look as good, but they would work fine.  The pixels (so buttons and such) are the about/exactly same size as the iPad Air, so it would all be usable as apps get updated.

Where it gets even more interesting is if you make an iPad with the pixel size of the iPad mini, but make it that new 2560x1920 pixel count. By my math, you'd end up with a screen that is 7.85" x 5.89" which is within fractions of an inch of the size of the current iPad Air screen (7.76" x 5.82"). That seems like the iPad Air 2 next year.

So if you do an iPad Pro spring 2014, with a bigger screen and higher pixel count, apps will get updated. With the bigger device, apps would be usable at the old size as they're getting updated.  Then you can roll that new pixel count back into the iPad Air2 in fall 2014.  iPad Air2 gets an even sharper screen, and a nice new differentiator from the iPad mini if it stayed 2048x1536 (which I think it would).

Developers will jump on the Pro so all apps that matter would have been updated by the fall 2014 time.  (Many would even get updated in the week or two between the announcement and its release.)

This also gives more choices for updating the models later.  Air and Mini updated in the fall in time for the holidays, Pro which would be more a business iPad and gets updated in the spring.  Pro could even get a few goodies from current and future iPhones that the fall iPad Air/Mini didn't I'd be very surprised if it didn't have TouchID.

*Assuming I've not screwed up the math too much.

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