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12.9in Apple iPad may launch early next year

A new report suggests Apple may launch an oversized 12.9in iPad in early 2015

Apple may be concentrating on the Autumn launch of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t also thinking about introducing new products in 2015; according to a new report, a 12.9in iPad is due early next year to sit alongside the existing 9.7in iPad Air and 7.9in retina iPad Mini.

Rumours of a 12in or larger iPad first appeared online in 2011, and have refused to go away. According to Bloomberg, Apple is ready to begin working on the larger iPad project after putting it on hold in 2013, in an effort to “shake up” the iPad line after seeing reduced sales over the past two financial quarters. It will likely include the same design principles as the existing iPad Air and iPad Mini, meaning very thin dimensions, tiny screen bezels and multiple colour and storage combinations.

More interesting is the rumour that the display could have an incredibly high resolution. According to MacRumours, Apple has already begun production on 12.9in, near UHD resolution panels for use in an unannounced device. That would elevate Apple, originally famous for introducing the concept of “retina resolution” screens, above rival Samsung’s 2,560×1,600 Galaxy Tab S in terms of display density.

Little else is known about the device, but it would almost certainly launch with iOS 8 and include the same or faster internals than the iPad Air 2, which has been predicted to arrive towards the end of the year. It would likely compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, but eat into sales of Apple’s own MacBook Air laptop range.

We’ll have to wait until early next year to see if the rumours prove accurate, but in the meantime Apple fans have several months of excitement to keep them going; Apple is set to reveal the iPhone 6 in September and is expected to launch new iPads and potentially the iWatch wearable in October.

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