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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Latest Apple reports: Wearable gadget, jumbo iPad out soon

Reports of Apple’s upcoming product launches are dropping faster than overripe plums on a shaken tree.

The company is widely expected to unveil new iPhones with bigger screens at an event next month, perhaps on Sept. 9. (Update: Apple has confirmed that it is holding an event that day near its headquarters.)

It’s now sounding like the iPhone Sixes will share the stage with a jumbo iPad. Bloomberg is reporting that an iPad with a 12.9-inch diagonal screen is likely to go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.

The standard iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and there’s a 7.9-inch Mini version.

A larger screen is better for the business market, where Apple is hoping to reverse the slowdown in sales of its premium tablets. Apple could use the bigger screen to enable multiple windows to open at once, which could improve the productivity of iPad users and match windowing capabilities available on Microsoft’s 12-inch Surface tablet and Samsung devices.

Also expected to be announced in September is a wearable device – perhaps a wristband that works with Apple’s fledgling health-tracking and connected home platforms, according to a report on the Re/Code news site.

An Apple wristband would lift the wearables space and anchor Apple’s HealthKit and HomeKit software platforms. But it could also alienate other device makers who generally try to make their gadgets work well with Apple products and may be needed to establish the HealthKit in particular as a broad platform.

There’s more. Apple may also be prepping a thinner MacBook for release late this year or in early 2015, according to a Digitimes report relayed by MacRumors.com. It suggested the laptop refresh built around Intel’s new “Broadwell” chip could be announced in October, at an event separate from the September iPhone unveiling.

The reports pushed Apple’s stock up about 1 percent.

Comments | Topics: Apple, iPad, iphone 6

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