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New Rumor Says Apple Will Debut Large Format iPad Next Spring


A news source in China has reported that Foxconn is testing a 11.4- or 12.9-inch tablet set for release next year.

According to a post from the Chinese tablet news site PadNews, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) long-time Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn (OTCMKTS:FXCOF) is testing a large-format iPad for release as early as March 2014. The new iPad is said to boast a diagonal screen size of 12.9 inches (though another source, cited in the same article, claimed the size would be 11.4-inches). The iPad Air, Apple's newest tablet, has a 9.7-inch screen.

Rumors about a large-screen Apple tablet have circulated on the Internet for months, with many journalists dubbing the rumored device the "iPad Maxi." In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that its sources said the new iPad would have a display that is "slightly less than 13 inches diagonally."

In September, another Chinese publication, United Daily News, reported that Apple was producing a 12-inch iPad in collaboration with Taiwan-based Quanta Computer (OTCMKTS:QUCCF), the company that manufactures the current MacBook Air.

Per usual in the world of online Apple speculation, these rumors were overshadowed by the hype surrounding the company's launch events. In September, Apple released the iOS7 and its new iPhones. In October, the world was introduced to the iPad Air and the new, free desktop operating system, Mavericks.

Now that the dust has settled, speculation again turns to a large-sized iPad.

Apple's primary competitor, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) has a 10.1-inch tablet on the market now: its Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Even larger is Sony's (NYSE:SNE) Vaio Tap 11, which runs Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 and boasts an 11.6-inch screen, but also, a steep, $1,000 price tag.

Apple's 7.9-inch iPad Mini has been quite successful, enough so that some analysts and experts have commented on how it is cannibalizing Apple's larger tablet. If a small iPad has had that effect, what would a large-format iPad do for the company?

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville

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