Mar 5, 2015 · 1 minute

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on a larger iPad, a smaller MacBook Air, and a new version of the ultralight laptop with the higher resolution "Retina Display."

Apple is also said to be considering the addition of various ports -- including some which would support connections to a keyboard and mouse -- to the larger version of the iPad.

It's hard to imagine Apple releasing all of these devices, and the Journal notes that the company asks its suppliers to test new technologies, some of which the public never sees.

But let's assume for a moment that all of these products are released, if not this year, then at some point in the future. What might that mean for the company's tablets and laptops?

To me it suggests one thing: convergence.

Consumers are buying fewer tablets than ever before. Apple's portion of that shrinking market is cratering. The iPad might have once seemed like the future, but right now, it more closely resembles an experiment that worked for a few years before puttering out.

Yet the Mac continues to rise. Apple has sold a record number of its personal computers for the last two quarters in a row, and while that might be attributed to the back-to-school and holiday seasons, it might also just be caused by rising interest in Apple's computers.

How hard would it be for Apple to emulate the Surface by creating an all-in-one device that doubles as a laptop and tablet? It doesn't matter that it didn't work for Microsoft -- Apple has a knack for taking existing ideas, polishing them, and making people forget that another company ever released music players, tablets, or smartphones before it did.

It just doesn't make sense for Apple to make a 12-inch MacBook Air, a 12-inch iPad, and a MacBook Air with Retina Display. Either some of these products will never debut, or they will eventually be folded into one product, if not at launch then a few years down the line.

[illustration by Brad Jonas]