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Apple Is Working On A Bigger iPad With A 12.9-Inch Screen That Will Launch Early Next Year

giant ipad
giant ipad

Business Insider

Our rendering of what a giant iPad may look like.

Apple is working on an even bigger version of the iPad that it plans to launch next year, Bloomberg reports.

The new iPad will have a 12.9-inch screen, which is just a hair smaller than the screen on the biggest MacBook Air. Today's iPad Air has a 9.7-inch screen. The iPad Mini has a 7.85-inch screen. The big-screen iPad will launch in the first quarter of 2015, according to the report.

There have been rumors throughout Apple's supply chain for months that the company was working on a larger version of the iPad. Some people have been calling it the iPad Pro. However, this report from Bloomberg is the most solid evidence we've had yet of such a device.

Meanwhile, Apple's iPad business has been pretty sluggish. iPad sales growth has been declining. Last quarter, unit sales were down 9% on a year-over-year basis.

This chart from Business Insider Intelligence will give you a good idea of how the iPad business is going for Apple:

iPad Sales
iPad Sales

Business Insider Intelligence

One way Apple is trying to reinvigorate iPad sales is by selling the devices to large companies through its new partnership with IBM. IBM will use its salesforce to sell iPads to large enterprises. It'll also make enterprise apps for the tablets.

Diversifying the iPad lineup with a larger model could help, too. Apple is marketing iPads as productivity tools, and, in some cases, replacements for traditional laptops. A bigger screen and perhaps some sort of keyboard accessory could be a way to help push that narrative even further.

And, yes, that's very similar to what Microsoft is trying to do with its Surface Pro 3:

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Steve Kovach/Business Insider

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