updated 10:03 am EST, Mon December 23, 2013
May iPhone launch would break with previous timetables
Apple is working on a "larger size" iPhone for May 2014, and a 12.9-inch iPad for October, supply chain sources tell DigiTimes. The new iPhone will allegedly be manufactured by TSMC, using a 20nm process. The iPad is reportedly being built by Quanta Computer; the sources suggest that while Apple has been deciding between 12.9- or 13.3-inch displays, 12.9 has a better chance of being selected.
A May iPhone launch is unlikely. Apple has never released a new iPhone during that month, and in recent years the company has veered away from summer launches towards a September-October window. iPads, though, have indeed shifted to an October-November timeframe. In that regard the DigiTimes claim is more plausible than a recent Korea Times story, which called for a 12.9-inch iPad with an "ultra high-definition" display early next year. While many reports have agreed that a larger iPad is in development, Apple hasn't launched a new tablet in the first half of the year since the third-generation iPad, and it may be difficult for the company to get cheap and reliable production of 12.9-inch screens at resolutions above what it uses for the iPad Air or MacBook Pro.
A 12.9-inch iPad could potentially debut as the iPad Pro. The iPad Air appears to have been named after its MacBook counterpart, and Apple may want to offer a professionally-oriented tablet as a counter to devices like Microsoft's Surface Pro 2. Tablets are also eating more deeply into laptop sales as a whole.