Sources in the supply chain say that Apple has two 12.9-inch tablet prototypes in development: one is a 2-in-1 device and the other is a regular tablet. However, whether Apple will release both devices to the market or just one, still remains unclear. The device is rumored to be expected to enter mass production in early 2015.
Notably, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted something similar earlier this year.
"While not a new idea, our global tech research team believes Apple could be on the cusp of introducing a new category with iAnywhere, a converged MacOS-iOS operating system that allows an iPhone or iPad to dock into a specially configured display to run as a computer," Moskowitz said. "In our view, this category would be a leapfrog event, potentially jumpstarting iPhone and iPad growth as well as peripherals and cloud-based software and services sales."
Here's what Apple SVPs Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi think about convergence.
"We don’t waste time thinking, 'But it should be one [interface!]' 'How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?' What a waste of energy that would be," Schiller said. But he added that the company definitely tries to smooth out bumps in the road that make it difficult for its customers to switch between a Mac and an iOS device. For example, making sure its messaging and calendaring apps have the same name on both OS X and iOS.
"To say [OS X and iOS] should be the same, independent of their purpose? Let’s just converge, for the sake of convergence? [It’s] absolutely a non-goal," Federighi said. "You don’t want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS. At the same time, you don’t want to feel like iOS was designed by [one] company and Mac was designed by [a different] company, and they’re different for reasons of lack of common vision. We have a common sense of aesthetics, a common set of principles that drive us, and we’re building the best products we can for their unique purposes. So you’ll see them be the same where that makes sense, and you’ll see them be different in those things that are critical to their essence."
While a new iPad with an integrated OS X and iOS operating system appears unlikely, you can follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.