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Apple reportedly working on 12.9-inch iPad for early next year

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Apple is developing a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch display that it plans to begin manufacturing early next year, according to Bloomberg. It's not stated when the larger iPad will actually be released, but reports have swirled around the development of an iPad at this size for about a year now, so it's quite possible that it's finally headed toward a launch. Apple's existing iPads, the Air and the mini, have 9.7- and 7.9-inch displays. At 12.9 inches, this purported iPad would be closer in size to a laptop, like the MacBook Air.

That would make this larger iPad a particularly large tablet, but the idea of it fits right in with what Apple's been planning: it's said to be releasing two larger iPhones next month — a clear response to consumers' increasing interest in devices with larger screens. So far, tablets with larger displays haven't gained all that much traction, but Apple likely doesn't want to be caught unprepared once again — as it did with smartphones — and start losing ground because it isn't offering what shoppers are looking for. Apple also appears to be working on split-screen multitasking for the iPad, which could make a tablet like this far more useful for those trying to be productive.