There is certainly no shortage of tablets to choose from these days, with a plethora of Windows 8.1 devices flooding the market, alongside a seemingly endless assortment of Android slates of all shapes and sizes. But it is Apple’s iPad range that continues to dominate sales – and profits – in the growing tablet space, and the strong launch of the latest iPad Air suggests that that is unlikely to change any time soon.
Apple successfully diversified its tablet range with the smaller iPad mini last year, but reports suggest that the company may be looking to expand its offering further with a larger addition to its tablet range.
China’s PadNews claims that Apple’s manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has been testing larger iPads than the current ‘full-size’ 9.7-inch versions, with a screen size of 11.4- or 12.9-inches. The big tablet – unflatteringly dubbed the ‘iPad maxi’ – is said to be “in an advanced stage of testing”, and could be on track for launch in March 2014.
This latest claim follows similar reports from earlier this year, as AppleInsider notes. The Wall Street Journal said in July that its sources had revealed the existence of a larger iPad with a screen sized at “slightly less than 13-inches diagonally”; a further report, published in September by China’s United Daily News, pointed to the existence of a 12-inch iPad in development.
Of course, the rumour mill frequently churns out stories about Apple that don’t exactly pan out – we’re still waiting for that Apple HDTV set, for example – so for now, take all of this with a fistful of salt.