Is Apple’s rumored 13-inch 4K UltraHD iPad a desktop for kids?

“Rumors about Apple building a very large iPad have been unavoidable for seven months. But does a giant iPad make sense?” Mike Elgan writes for Computerworld. “Earlier this week, DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade newspaper for the Taiwanese and Chinese electronics industries, reported that October 2014 is the target launch timeframe for a 12.9-in. iPad ‘targeting North America’s educational market.’ (Note that DigiTimes rumors and predictions are often wrong.) Still, an October release makes sense for an education market product, as many U.S. school budgets are typically finalized in January or February. What doesn’t make sense is this: Why would Apple target its largest tablet at people with the tiniest hands — schoolchildren?”

“In interviews I’ve conducted with teachers and other educators about classroom technology, the issue that keeps coming up (and one universally ignored by the tech press) is that sending kids out the school-house door with expensive electronics like iPads is irresponsible in the extreme — it makes children targets for mugging and theft,” Elgan writes. “I find it very hard to believe that schools would buy 12.9-in. near-4K quality tablets and let kids take them home in their backpacks. That’s why a 12.9-in. iPad for the education market makes sense only if it’s designed to be used in the classroom exclusively, essentially as a desktop computer.”

Elgan writes, “It seems likely to me that Apple will ship a 12.9-in. iPad designed for desktop use for the education market, but display it in Apple stores for at least a year to create demand before coming out with even bigger models for consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple to release ‘larger size’ iPhone in May, 12.9-inch iPad next October – December 23, 2013
Apple prepping 12.9-inch iPad with UltraHD 4K resolution for 2014, sources say – December 3, 2013
Apple making a giant iPad Pro with Retina display to dwarf competitors? – November 30, 2013
13-inch iPad could be Apple’s smartest move in five years – November 27, 2013
Would you be interested in a 13-inch iPad Pro? – November 26, 2013
Quanta to assemble Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad and iWatch, sources say – November 25, 2013
Apple plans to release larger 12.9-inch iPad early next year, source says – November 19, 2013
Apple to apply new display tech to almost all of its products, including 5-inch iPhone, 12.9-inch iPad, says source – October 3, 2013
Apple working on larger iPad, sources say – September 24, 2013
Apple tests larger display for iPhone, 13-inch iPad, sources say – July 22, 2013


  1. There will be no 4K iPad.

    At least not until 4K becomes so ubiquitous that the entire Mac lineup has them.

    As it currently stands, 4K is a high-end, professional video product that will only be used in conjunction with a Mac Pro.

    4K iPads will not be found in any K-12 schools for many years.

    1. You say that now, but film makers are already shooting 6K video, and even 8K.
      This afternoon I was talking to a bloke shooting starling flocks performing ‘murmurations’, near Glastonbury. He was using a ‘RED’ camera system, which he said was unusual for a wildlife project, and he was filming in 4K. He told me that 6K isn’t unusual now, so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes more generally available.

    2. 4K is nothing compared to the megapixel capabilities of today’s dig cameras. A 4K iPad is very plausible, specially for a larger iPad. Any iPad larger than 9.7″ MUST have higher resolution than the 9.7 model and 4K is the next logical step. Also let’s not forget how good Apple is at being first at many things!
      No it is not only for pros. I am sure you are aware you can buy a 4K UHDTV if you have the $$$$? I work in the TV broadcast hardware industry and can tell you we are all working hard to bring 4K to the masses. It’s coming faster than everyone thinks.

  2. I don’t understand what the point of 4K would be in a small screen like this. It seems like the increased cost and battery drain would overcome any bragging rights. When ever I see the Amazon commercials for the Kindle Fire HD and they tout a million more pixels in their smaller screen I always wonder what the heck it really matters. Can people actually see more detail than the Retina Display has without a magnifying glass?

  3. 4k content is barely available, and the data connections just aren’t there for widespread downloading of it. Education certainly has no need for such high quality video. I larger iPad might make sense for essentially fixed use as a middle ground between a smaller screened iPad and the larger but more expensive option of a desktop.

    1. Anyone with a digital camera over 8 megapixels is already creating 4K content. It’s not all about video. Imagine how good a 4K display will be for viewing high res photos !

      1. Is that even remotely needed in the education market? It may be good, but I can’t see Apple doing it until they do it across the board. Why make a device for a subset of your customers which will require developers to support another screen resolution when you can upgrade your entire line in one go?

  4. I enjoy reading articles where the author has no idea of the history of Apple. Apple already tried this – the eMate 300 was a tablet/laptop Newton derivative designed specifically for educational use. It failed worse than the Newton.

    Apple has had only 1 product specifically designed for education and that was an all-in-one iMac with a special configuration for Educational use only. Not very popular.

    There’s no chance Apple will make a tablet which only has educational market. It would strangle the development of software which would require a special version just for education. There’s nothing I’ve ever seen that points to Apple not thinking that iOS/OS X isn’t already suited for educational applications.

    As for the theft problem, that’s a straw man argument. Untold millions of school kids have laptops and tablets already either required by their school, loaned by their school or personally owned. I’ve seen no evidence of crime statistics which indicate these are any more vulnerable to theft than any other product or owner.

    1. Didn’t they say that about the original iPad when it was still a rumour? Then it was revealed to be $500 and the world gasped ! It won’t cost that much more. Look at mini vs 9.7 pricing.

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