Apple prepping 12.9-inch iPad with UltraHD 4K resolution for 2014, sources say

“Citing a people familiar with the matter, Chinese publication PadNews claims Apple is testing five different 12.9-inch iPad models built by partner manufacturer Foxconn,” AppleInsider reports.

“Further, the company may launch a version with a 2K resolution screen in the first half of 2014, then debut an even higher resolution 4K model a few months later,” AppleInsider reports. “The publication quotes sources as saying the first of the larger iPad models could hit store shelves in April, with the 4K ultra-HD iteration coming during the regular iPad product update cycle in October. ”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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33 Comments

    1. Don’t forget Serial, SCSI, and FireWire ports as well with a detachable mouse and stylus pen as well. A replaceable battery and SuperDrive would also be nice. Oh, I almost forgot, a floppy drive is a must too.

    2. Wait a 2K iPad in 2014???
      WTF
      The retina iPad is above 2K now. (2K refers the number of pixels in the larger screen dimension)
      DCI defines 2K full frame (a hold over from digitized 35mm) as 2048X1024, 16X9 aspect @ 1998 X 1080 and 2.4:1 (aka cinemascope or ‘scope from the old anamorphic format) as 2048 X 858

      The current iPad exceeds (could display in correct aspect) any of those 2K format standards.

      That’s how you really know these guys are just making shit up and have absolutely no clue.

      1. With all the confusion over what is “HD” versus “2K” versus “UHD” versus “4K” your numbers are not the least bit helpful.

        HD is either 1280×720 or 1920×1080. Some refer to 1920×1080 as “Full HD”.
        The Digital Cinema Standard defines “2K” as 2048×1080. Nothing else. This has been the definition for the better part of a decade. Yes, there are other “options” and other aspect ratios possible just as there have been many, many different aspect ratios in film media. However, the Standard is just 2048×1080.

        “UHD” seems to be settling on 3840×2160 thereby maintaining the 16:9 aspect ratio of “HD” and “Full HD”.

        The Digital Cinema Standard defines “4K” as 4096×2160. Nothing else. However, just as with “2K” there are options for other aspect ratios, but the Standard is just 4096×2160.

        There are higher resolutions evolving too. There’s “Super HD” that has been demonstrated at 7680×4320, sometimes erroneously referred to as “8K”. There’s even been discussions of the next step in the Digital Cinema Standard for a true “8K” at 8192×4320, but as far as I know that’s never been formalized.

        Put more to the point…
        The current iPad(s) are 2048×1536. This can show a letterboxed 2K Digital Cinema Standard video at full resolution (in landscape mode and black regions above and below the video). This has been possible since the iPad 3. Anyone who claims this is “coming in 2014” has no idea about what they are talking.

        IF (truly, IF as I believe it is possibly but extremely unlikely) Apple goes to a “4K” size 13″ iPad, it will likely be 4096×3072. This will keep the scaling fairly simple and current iPad specific apps will run smoothly. They just won’t look as crisp as the native “4K” iPad apps.

        A more interesting topic is what monitor pixel count and aspect ratio will Apple support for its “4K” step. I suspect they will go along with the crowd and go with an UHD monitor (3840×2160). However, because a significant number of their high end customers are cinema pros, they might go with a true 4K monitor at 4096×2160. My personal preference would be for Apple to go with a 16:10 monitor at 4096×2560. This would give working room for menus, ribbons, etc. above and below the 4K video itself. Then again, Apple could surprise everyone. They could go to 4096×3072 on the next, larger iPad and keep that same pixel count in their “4K” monitor and give everyone a massive 30+” 4096×3072 monitor. Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? EXTREMELY unlikely.

        1. 2K is a digital cinema standard (set by the Digital Cinema initiatives or DCI) You are confusing (and intertwining) NAB broadcast “HD” standards (720p and 1080p) with D1 (digital cinema & compositing standards)

          I could give you the link to the DCI whitepapers but the specifications are literally hundreds of pages (you can find them at the DCImovies website if you want).
          But you will get a much simpler overview from wikipedia:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Cinema_Initiatives

  1. Is there any point for 4K on that size of a screen? That’s 8 megapixels.

    Even the retina MBP is at 2K but the retina display uses every 4 pixels are used to produce a finer screen at a equivalent size of 1400×900. Eyes can’t see any better than that.

    1. Setting aside the baloney factor in this current raft of ridiculous rumors…

      I could see the release of a 4K iPad IF Apple wants to create a new market specific to professional image designers and video (formerly film) makers. They could work at their desired resolution in real time, despite the fact that what they’re seeing on screen is well beyond their eyes’ ability to resolve the detail. Presumably the apps they’d use would have a ‘real resolution’ button to blow up the picture to actual size in order for them to work on details of the images/frames.

      IF that is the case, then we’d presumably see professional level apps specific to these purposes. We certainly don’t have them now. It will be interesting to see if touch screens are entirely amenable to these professional purposes. I kind of like the idea and want to follow the experimental results.

      One thing fur shut: If such devices are created, they’re going to have to have WHOPPING huge RAM and SSD space included. 64 GB SSD and a couple GB of RAM are NOT going to cut it, even remotely.

      1. Stupid spell checker: ‘One thing fur SHUR…’ (me being valley girl).

        So what would be the ideal weight of one of these giant slabs?Would stands be required by default? (Floor, desk, lap). Would Wacom quality styluses be standard accessories?

  2. Apple never ups specs until they’re needed, and certainly never for oneupsmanship in a specs contest. I can’t think of any rational reason why anyone would need a 4K screen in a 13″ display except in specialized professional apps. Perhaps X-rays or ultrasound videos in a medical setting, and even that sounds farfetched. Who wants a $1,500 iPad?

  3. As soon as Samsung sees Apple doing some large new tablet, they’ll take one of their 32″ HDTVs and slice it right down the middle, add a second processor, build a case around it and load KitKat Android OS into it and they’ll be on their way to duplicating whatever Apple has. I doubt they’ll have any idea what it will be used for but it will be bigger than the iPad Maxi and they’ll think they’ve got an advantage over Apple’s product. They’ll be able to challenge Apple with yet another mobile device. Samsung certainly will up the specs to make sure that their big tablet is more powerful than what Apple has to offer. Oneupsmanship is something Samsung enjoys doing. Their whole business is built around that methodology.

    However, they’ll have a harder time selling it than Apple because there’s no Android users that will be willing to pay a king’s ransom for some really oversized Galaxy Note. I’m thinking Apple is building this large tablet because there were a number of businesses that specifically requested such a device. It might make a decent CAD/CAM terminal.

    1. half a TV won’t cut it. HDTV’s are 1920 X 1080 so it would be 1080 X 960, that would place it down with the total crap no-name ‘roid tablets (not) selling for $79 these days.
      Even if they did half a 4K TV screen (do they even have one @ 32″?) wouldn’t be that impressive at only ~2K (2160 lhr)

  4. To be real, I think the 13″ iPad will snap into a base unit making it the monitor for a MacBook laptop. When it’s detached, it automatically will go into iPad mode. It’ll be different from Microsoft’s approach in that the laptop’s base will have its own processor, battery, etc. No dual boot, no hybrid OS. OS X when it’s attached to its base, iOS when detached. The Microsoft way is: Jack of all, master of none. Apple could never accept that paradigm. You don’t need one OS running in both environments, You need two OS’s optimized for each mode of use. I’m sure there are a lot of business professionals who lug around a laptop and an iPad. By going this rout, it forces the user to go with a Mac laptop as well. No Dell laptop with an Apple iPad. It’ll be interesting to see what finally plays out, you never know with Apple.

    1. That’s a very interesting concept. I’m not sure why the low votes, other than lack of supporting evidence. But really, changing OS environments when you change how you’re using it does make some sense. Still, I would think that being able to go into iOS mode while still part of your laptop would be nice. Then the rest of your laptop becomes an extension of the iPad, which could be very nice, indeed. But pull it off, and there is certainly no reason for it to continue in OSX. The challenge in this, imo, is in the file system. One minute it is very transparent, and the next it is impossible to access. That would irritate me severely. It already does, even just on my iPhone – it would be that much worse when it is only sometimes available.

      1. Low votes because the idea, while interesting, would be exceptionally redundant. It would mean two processors, two sets of ram, two sets of storage, etc., etc.

        And, as evidenced by the “success” of MS’s tablet/laptop form factor efforts, something there is simply not much (if any) demand for.

  5. Why does it seem so silly to up the resolution on an iPad to where it’s going on TV’s? 4K is the new standard already out on TV, why not make it standard across the board? I can already take 4K video on a tiny GoPro camera. Then I view it on a 4K TV or my big Mac monitor. What is silly to me is how long it’s taken for 4K to reach TV…seems ridiculous to stretch so small an image (1080p) across so large of screens.

  6. Was just comparing pixels and resolutions of current iPads and am surprised to see that the iPad Air has the same as the iPad Mini Retina, which is 2048-by-1536. If they pack as many pixels per inch into the 13″ iPad as in the iPad mini, would it not be 4K? It would have almost twice the amount of pixels by my calculation, just by ratio of screen size.

  7. I hope its not 16×9

    I believe it. they released iPads and then retina iPads. They can release 2K (2048×1536) large iPads and then a 4K version later. Why not ? Bring it ON!

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