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Apple to unveil 12.9-inch iPad, claims report

The supersized tablet could debut in early 2014, according to news site Korea Times. But why would Apple produce such a huge iPad?

Is a supersized iPad on Apple's agenda?
Is a supersized iPad on Apple's agenda? Mockup based on Apple image

Apple is reportedly cooking up a tablet that would outsize the current iPad by more than two inches.

Citing an official at a Korean Apple supplier, news site Korea Times said on Tuesday that an iPad with a 12.9-inch Retina Display screen will launch in early 2014. The new iPad would boast a better picture than the current model, offering a display almost equal in quality to an ultra high-definition screen, according to the report.

The screen itself is currently being produced by one of Apple's major suppliers, the source added.

Why would Apple produce such a huge iPad? Two reasons, according to the Korea Times' source. First, Apple wants to introduce larger tablets as an alternative to PCs. Second, it wants to compete with Samsung and other tablet makers. Samsung is reportedly prepping a 12.2-inch version of its Galaxy Note tablet, according to Korean news site ETNews.

How credible is this rumor? Other sources have served up the idea of a big iPad.

In July, The Wall Street Journal said that Apple was tinkering with an iPad display measuring almost 13 inches diagonally. In September, supply chain scuttlebutt pointed to a 12.9-inch iPad under development. And last month, investment firm Barclays Equity Research said it believes a 13-inch iPad could be in the works as a replacement for laptops.

Reports like these should always be taken with a grain of salt. A 12.9-inch screen would require a tablet measuring around 15 inches diagonally, negating the whole idea of a mobile device. But when seen as an alternative to a laptop, a large-screen iPad sounds more feasible.

Apple also triggered speculation in October when it announced the iPad Air, a thinner and lighter version of its traditional 9.8-inch tablet. Following the naming convention of the Mac, an iPad Pro could be on Apple's agenda. If so, such a model would likely be more powerful and potentially bigger than the current version.

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