Apple Inc. May Have Cancelled One of Its Most Highly Anticipated Products

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) plans to release several new products this year, according to the company's CEO, Tim Cook. Not just next-generation Macs, iPhones, and iPads, but completely new products in totally new categories.

Based on reports from Apple's supply chain, and the company's own product nomenclature, one of those products could be a larger iPad. This rumored "iPad Pro" (which many sell-side analysts have said is forthcoming) allegedly would've sported a 12.9-inch screen. Aimed at enterprise users, it could've competed with Samsung's (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, and may have put pressure on Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) .

But according to DigiTimes, the iPad Pro isn't coming. The Taiwanese outlet, which has a fairly good track record, has said Apple cancelled the project. If so, it's a good a development for Intel, but it doesn't bode particularly well for Apple or Samsung, as both companies look to expand their tablet dominance.

How big is too big?
The Motley Fool's own Evan Niu was at CES when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 back in January, and he got a chance to test out the device. Unfortunately for Samsung, Evan found it too big and unwieldy and ultimately concluded that no matter the manufacturer -- Apple or Samsung -- larger tablets were unlikely to succeed.

If DigiTimes is correct, Apple executives have come to a similar conclusion. Finding little support among developers, Apple has killed the iPad Pro, while sales of Samsung's Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 languish. DigiTimes expects Samsung to sell just 1 million Galaxy NotePROs in 2014 -- if so, it will represent just a tiny fraction of Samsung's total tablet sales (it sold more than 40 million tablets in 2013).

If Apple has cancelled the iPad Pro, investors may have to temper their expectations for the company going forward. While the iPhone remains Apple's core product, and other products including a smart TV and smartwatch are widely anticipated, a number of analysts have cited the iPad Pro as a reason to own Apple shares.

Wedge Partner's Brian Blair, in a note last week (via Barron's), said that a forthcoming iPad Convertible with a 12-inch screen would help Apple shares rise as much as 20% in the coming months. Analysts at Evercore Partners have even more explicit, predicting that a forthcoming 12-inch, enterprise-focused iPad would allow Apple to "transform the traditional notebook market."

Pressuring traditional PCs
Evercore analysts went on to argue that a larger iPad would pose a challenge to Intel -- presumably sporting Apple's own A8 mobile chip, an iPad Pro would eat into the market for Intel's processors. With a larger screen, an iPad Pro lwould've been sold as a notebook alternative. If Apple had successfully persuaded buyers to opt for its iPad Pro in place of a traditional notebook, Intel's revenue would have declined, as the company's chips power the vast majority of notebooks on the market.

But if Apple has cancelled the product, and Samsung is struggling to succeed, Intel can rest easy, knowing that's core market won't vanish overnight. While the market for traditional PCs contracted in 2013, and is expected to continue to decline in the coming years, the success of larger tablets could've accelerated that process significantly.

That isn't to say that Apple investors have nothing else to look forward to -- or that Samsung's tablet business is hosed. But the apparent failure of 12-inch-plus tablets suggests there are limits to mobile computing.

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Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (9)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 3:12 PM, will1946 wrote:

    Apple is so cash flush and idea poor that the best thing they could do is take all that money and invest in rock solid companies. They could actually make some money that way.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 5:44 PM, bjbandassoc wrote:

    As an individual investor in AAPL, I have given no value to this potential product, so its demise does not concern me, if it is in fact dead. My investment is based on agreement with certain analysts that the China Mobile deal will bare fruit and the iPhone 6 will support that effort as well as begin a major upgrade cycle worldwide. Combined, they will experience a period of top and bottom line growth moving forward. The billions being spent in R&D is highly unlikely not to produce meaningful new products that supplement growth for the intermediate term.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 7:08 PM, melegross wrote:

    Analysts are so busy masterbating over their ideas that they become unable to seperate reality from fantasy. Indeed, most seem to be living in a fantasy world.

    First of all, are we supposed to believe, or care about what one writer thinks about a product? If so, then the entire tablet market would have been written off. Obviously, that didn't happen despite many writers doubting the usefulness of any tablets when the iPad was announced.

    This seems to have been forgotten.

    Was Apple ready to release one this year? No one knows. Did they cancel the project? No one knows. Is it delayed? No one knows.

    Anything else that's said is just garbage.

    And about Samsung's big Android tablet, business says—who cares. But that's what they say about Android tablets overall, so that tells us nothing about what impact a large iPad might have.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 9:19 PM, Mentallect wrote:

    Larger tablets will succeed just like larger phones have. Samsung will create a market, Apple will monitor their sales, then Apple will decide. Apple does not take risks since Jobs died except with the predictively failure of the iPhone 5C. Where is the innovation at Apple?

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 9:25 PM, tsabar wrote:

    Is he a Motley Fool or a simple idiot? I can not tell the difference, between the two.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 10:05 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    We don't want a larger iPad, we want an iPad that can do work. Put MacOS on the 10 incher. call it iPad Pro, and call it a day.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 10:36 PM, bcweir wrote:

    @crash3085 - the Ipad uses the A4 processor, basically the same type and architecture as the iphone 5 and the Ipod Touch. Apple's computers run on Intel processors, which are completely different animals from the A4-related chips.

    The Mac OS won't run natively on the A4 chip, and even if it did, it would likely run hot and drain the battery lickety-split, due to the far greater number of functions that the A4 chip would have to support in the Mac OS X environment.

    Apple would have to compile a whole new version of the Mac OS X for the A4 to do what you're suggesting, and I doubt they will ever do that because it's completely unnecessary.

    The iPads were never meant to be full blown computers. Neither are the iPhones or the iPod Touch devices. Want one with an Apple logo? That's what the iMacs and Macbooks are for. Want an IPad that can do work? Buy a Macbook. That's what they're for.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 11:27 PM, cashxx wrote:

    It was just a rumor to see if Samsung would copy it!!!!!!!........lol

    And Samsung fell for it!!!!!

    If I was Apple I'd keep putting out rumors like this so Samsung wastes money doing them and looking like fools.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 11:35 PM, cashxx wrote:

    • iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.

    • iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.

    • Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 6 months

    Innovation is coming............!!!!!!!! Give him some time!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 11:59 PM, Mastermarketeer wrote:

    Apple has saved themselves with the Trash Can. I was ready to dump them, I have been a Mac User since 1985, when they dumped the 17" Mac Book Pro. I would have bought the Panasonic 20" pad if it was available here in the US. Much of the past Apple Products abandoned the Creative Community until the new version of Mac the Black Trash Can.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 5:15 AM, DrTek wrote:

    I keep forgetting that the reason these articles exist is to adverte the end of the Internet.

    "A better investment than Apple?

    There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company."

    Enough already!

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 3:20 PM, Ostrowsr wrote:

    Why are improvements to old products considered "new product"? A new product is something that has a totally new purpose. Probably because analysts have no idea what the truly "new" products coming from Apple might be all about. But I'm sure they're trying to find out so the other companies can infringe on their patents once again.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 4:50 PM, larryw101 wrote:

    @ the author:

    Are you biggest fool that Motley can find?

    Your articles are always filled with extreme bias and worthless content.

    Find another job, you don't belong in finance.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 6:35 PM, ZannyBlowzsteve1 wrote:

    "A better investment than Apple?"

    MAN, Motley Fool is full of iDiots! YES, there are tons of better investments than Apple. Apple has been a dead dog for over a year & a half.

    Want to actually make money on your investments?

    Buy ANY other stock in the tech sector, instead of Apple. Buy Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cray, Intel, AMD, etc... etc... ALL of them have wiped the floor with Apple's pathetic performance.

    You could swing a dead iCeo & hit a hundred better investments. First you have to stop drinking the iKool-Aid!

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 7:50 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    Another idiotic thought from Sam. If no one wants a large tablet, then how does Apple canceling plans for one hurt the company?

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