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iPhone 6 Plus pushes back launch of bigger iPad, report says

The rumored large iPad likely won't be available until early next year as suppliers must worry about producing enough iPhone 6 Plus units.

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Apple went larger with the iPhone 6 (left) and iPhone 6 Plus. So when will the iPad finally get supersized? Apple

The iPhone 6 Plus, boasting a 5.5-inch screen, is pushing back any chance for Apple to launch a larger-screen iPad this year, according to a new report.

Apple has plans to build a larger iPad featuring a 12.9-inch screen, but won't get going on that until early next year so its suppliers can focus on increasing output on the iPhone 6 Plus, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company's supply chain efforts. Those sources told the Journal that Apple is facing major demand for the iPhone 6 Plus and that output so far has proven "unsatisfactory" on the larger device.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new iPhone models debuted in September. The iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display. It's possible in some cases to find an iPhone 6 Plus on store shelves, but it's exceedingly more difficult than getting the smaller phone. As of this writing, Apple's online store lists the iPhone 6 Plus lead time as three to four weeks. The iPhone 6 will ship in as little as a week.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Apple is planning to boost the size of its iPads. The iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch screen size, which likely won't change, but the iPad Air features the same 9.7-inch screen Apple has offered since the original iPad's inception in 2010. As an increasing number of devices from other tablet makers hit store shelves featuring larger screens, the onus is on Apple to respond with a larger tablet of its own. The 12.9-inch model could be just that.

According to the Journal's sources, the larger iPad was set to go into mass production in early December. The stronger demand and lower-than-expected production on the iPhone 6 Plus, however, has pushed that timetable back at least a couple of months, though the sources didn't say exactly when mass production might begin.

Apple is planning to hold a press event next week, likely announcing new iPads. It's unclear whether the company is going to announce the larger iPad at that event.