64-bit CPUs seen bolstering possible 13" iPad notebook from Apple

in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2014
The decision to move the A7 processor and iOS 7 to a 64-bit architecture may signal the beginning of a strategy for Apple to build a 13-inch, notebook-style iPad, one analyst has speculated.

iPad Space Gray
A purported rear casing for Apple's next-generation iPad 5 | Source: Sonny Dickson

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Ben A. Reitzes of Barclays Capital argued Apple may be in the early stages of preparing the iOS ecosystem for a transition from handheld mobile devices to more powerful devices capable of replacing lower-end and ultraportable notebook computers, such as the company's successful MacBook Air. He believes a new product of this type could eventually supersede the 10-inch iPad and the iPad Mini as Apple's second-largest revenue driver behind the iPhone.

Reitzes suspects that the 64-bit A7 was released in this year's iPhone 5s in order to jumpstart development of 64-bit-optimized iOS apps that would one day be able to take advantage of more than 4 gigabytes of RAM ? a requirement, he argued, for a larger-screened convertible iPad. The iPhone 5s features only 1 gigabyte of RAM, though developers are already taking advantage of the A7's increased performance to enable advanced audio and video features not possible with the previous 32-bit A-series processors.Ben A. Reitzes believes Apple's push for a 64-bit iOS, coupled with making iWork free for new iPad purchases, could be signs of a future iOS-powered notebook.

Choosing to make iWork free with every new iOS device purchase is seen as another sign that Cupertino is preparing to insert the iPad wedge further into the fracturing notebook market. Microsoft's Office suite has been conspicuously absent from Apple's tablet since the iPad's debut ??though outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed on Tuesday that may soon change ??and Reitzes thinks that iWork, as a free, Office-compatible replacement, will fill that gap.

Such a product is needed to offset Apple's recent reliance on iPhone revenue, which accounts for more than 50 percent of Cupertino's trailing 12 month income, Reitzes said. Even if a 13-inch iPad were to cannibalize Mac sales ??unit sales of which have declined 7 percent year over year ? he believes that would be worth it for Apple, as the product could take 25 to 30 percent of the larger notebook market.

A new 13-inch convertible iPad could mean significant revenue increases for Apple as well, according to the analysis. Reitzes pegs the product's average sale price at "about $650" with 35 percent margins, calculating that every 10 million units sold would add approximately $2 to Apple's earnings per share. Apple sold 14.6 million iPads and 3.8 million Macs during the third quarter of 2013.

Supply chain rumblings support the possibility of a larger, convertible iPad or an iOS-based notebook, as reports out of China recently indicated that Apple may be working with longtime manufacturing partner Quanta Computer on a 12-inch version of the iPad.


  • Reply 1 of 84
    But...but...64-bit is just a gimmick!
  • Reply 2 of 84
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Give me a 15” running OS XI.

  • Reply 3 of 84
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member
    Please keep us posted of every single analyst speculation, with a new headline, it's really meaty stuff.
  • Reply 4 of 84

    I had not expected that Apple would give away iWork. Guess they're not getting enough traction on selling it. I see it in iCloud and haven't given it much of a spin yet. But it makes sense. Now is a good opportunity to take advantage of Microsoft's lumbering steps into the tablet world that already exists. It just showcases how far ahead the iOS ecosystem remains.

    Microsoft Office isn't dominant because it's the best. It's because they're great at licensing and catering to the communities of developers, instructors and IT support staff. </soapbox>

  • Reply 5 of 84
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    I can believe a bigger, more powerful iPad is coming, but don't believe it'll be convertible.
  • Reply 6 of 84
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Originally Posted by poke View Post

    I can believe a bigger, more powerful iPad is coming, but don't believe it'll be convertible.


    They already exist. 



  • Reply 7 of 84
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    2014 MacBook Air: quad-core A8, no Intel Tax (r).
  • Reply 8 of 84
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    2014 MacBook Air: quad-core A8, no Intel Tax (r).

    Not a chance.

    Apple will not release a product that is dramatically slower than its predecessor. An iPad convertible (what I've been calling an 'Ipad Pro' for the year or more that I've been talking about it) would not be a replacement for the MBA, but would rather be an extension of the iPad line. Although some people might buy it instead of the MBA, it wouldn't be marketed as an MBA.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    2014 MacBook Air: quad-core A8, no Intel Tax (r).

    You think being the best Semiconductor Manufacturer in the world is cheap?

  • Reply 10 of 84
    dilliodillio Posts: 106member
    Give me the ability to dock my iPhone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and use a web browser, Word processing, etc. all the basic computer functions. The idea Ubuntu had. I like that idea.
  • Reply 11 of 84

    I'll take a 13" - 15" iPad with the ability to doc to a larger display. 

  • Reply 12 of 84
    Do Wall Street just hire some fail wannabe writers to do this kind of "job"? Seriously.

    Let's look around your office. You must have one person like this there. They come around to your desk, then poke around your screen. And you really want to chop their finger off right there. Steve said long time ago. A touch device is for touch. A laptop is a laptop. This is why you don't see Apple laptop screen can be touch. I sure as he'll don't want to touch my MBA screen.

    And anyone remember that Dell , a tablet + net book thingy? Or is it not quite a tablet, not quite a laptop , and sure it's kinda like a net book thing? I seen one person said that was amazing. He works at support and he no longer has a job ....
  • Reply 13 of 84
    thedbathedba Posts: 652member

    More dreaming from analysts.


    Apple may very well be looking at greater than 9.7 inch form factors. Doesn't mean they are coming out with one in the immediate future.

    Also a 64 bit iOS doesn't mean that Apple is looking at convertibles.


    Apple's ultimate goal is probably to merge iOS and OSX sometime in the future.

    Intel's more effcient Haswell architecture and ARM's 64 bit mobile architecture is a step in that direction. Doesn't mean however that such a move is coming in 2013 or 2014.


    Don't hold your collective breathing analysts. Or on second thought, do hold it. Maybe we'll be getting less of this dog pooh being passed on as professional analysis in the future.

  • Reply 14 of 84
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
  • Reply 15 of 84
    jonshfjonshf Posts: 90member


    A 13" iPad could be matched with a proper keyboard size.

  • Reply 16 of 84
    Mac OS running on A-chip is now quite possible, will it, that's your guess?
  • Reply 17 of 84
    Unless, they are preparing to take out the screen from the mac book air and add a retina screen where the keyboard is. The technology and resources are there. And since the rumors of the bigger power brick, could happen. At least for me is.

    A6X can handle adobe applications with the apps that are around the app store.

    Since the A7 is 64 bit environment, memory can be added aside, or have a fan to cool it off.

    These is my humble point of view.
  • Reply 18 of 84

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post


    but, but, but 64 bit is a gimmick!




    I'd be all over a 13 inch iPad.

    iPadmini is too small for me (I'll rather use my phone as a portable device)

    iPad is nice but I'd love more power and a bigger screen.  Basically its taking the place of my laptop.


    almost almost almost agree.


    The question will always be how much SSD will they put in an iPad.   It has to be over 128GB for me to forgo the laptop (I have a lot of standard content that I need to include in my work, and most of my work requires disconnection from the outside world).  64GB isn't quite enough for the work I do, and I'm not sure the touch UI as primary works in my primary content creation mode.  I could be wrong… but it's the old 'how to accelerate creating tables and multi-depth outlines' that I tend to love a nice 'tabbed' UI (as in, Tabbing sets the nesting level… old Pascal programmer;-)


    But 13" retina… under 2 lbs, and a 24 hours battery… I'd like that, and carry a bluetooth keyboard.

  • Reply 19 of 84
    jamesmacjamesmac Posts: 115member
    This makes a lot of sense and something like this could possibly explain the real reason why Apple pursued going to a 64 bit architecture rather than simply increasing the core count and/or clock frequency. Although, I wouldn't preclude either in an upcoming 'A8' if used in a laptop-like device.

    We're already seeing the A7 roughly at parity with BayTrail, so this seems a smart move on Apples' part. Who would have believed a few years ago that Apple would be rivaling Intel in SOC design? If the whole phone/tablet thing doesn't work out for Apple in the future, I think they've got a shot at being the next Intel ;)

    To the two above who mentioned the Gimmick quote from Qualcomm, I just shake my head. You do understand that this article is talking about putting a 64 bit processor in a device with > 4GB of RAM?
  • Reply 20 of 84
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member

    Come on people!!  All the professional fandroids blogging from their rent-free offices/bedrooms/dining rooms in their parents' basements all say that the 64-bit path Apple is taking is just a gimmick!  Consumers won't notice a difference and doesn't need 64-bit in mobile devices!!

    I mean they have to know what they're talking about right?  Considering how well-fed they are thanks to mommy bringing down meals and opening the occasional 1/2-height basement window to let air circulate and allow for 20 minutes of sunlight, their brains are surely being put to use down there to tell all of us sheep that they know better right?

    I'm still deciding whether this needs a sarcasm tag, but I fear there is a lot of truth to it though.. :/

    Apple is establishing the framework for something big.  But fear not, after they do it... the Samsungs of the world, and the shameless fandroid sheep will suddenly say that it was a natural progression for them to copy... uhm... "innovate" the same way.

    Oh... and slap some faux-gold plating on their plastic devices too... 

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