The 13-Inch iPad Could Be A Laptop, Says Analyst

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Every once and a while, someone suggests that Apple will eventually migrate OS X over to ARM, and the A7 processor’s move to 64-bit has reopened that rumor yet again. As we’ve explained before, they almost definitely won’t, but the rumor persists nonetheless.

It’s interesting, then, to see a different variation on this rumor. According to a Barclays Capital analyst, Apple doesn’t intend to put ARM chips in every MacBook… they want to make iPads into notebooks as alternatives to Macs.

According to Barclays Capital analyst Ben A. Reitzes, Apple “could” be working to develop iOS for a larger and more powerful MacBook-like iPad that he foresees as being Apple’s second biggest money maker one day. This iPad would be 13-inches, and very possibly either have a keyboard built-in, or otherwise be convertible into a laptop (think the Microsoft Surface).

According to Reitzes, this iPad would significantly improve revenue for Apple. He thinks it woukd cost about $650, bring in 35 percent margines, and add $2 to Apple’s earnings per share per $10 million units sold. That’s enough to make it Apple’s second most popular product after the iPhone.

I don’t really buy it. At this point, ARM doesn’t really have any practical power-savings or performance advantages over Haswell, even in a 64-bit configuration. Is anyone clammoring for a 13-inch iPad, or even a laptop that runs OS X?

It appears, though, that what Reitzes foresees is an iOS-laptop that is even cheaper than a MacBook Air. Perhaps Apple’s budget laptop?