Apple is reportedly working on its largest ever tablet, a 12.9-inch version of the iPad that will debut alongside the standard 9.7-inch device and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini later this year.
Bloomberg claims the Cupertino-based company’s suppliers have been working on the larger tablet for at least a year as part of CEO Tim Cook’s plans to revive the tablet business, which is Apple’s second best-selling product line, but has suffered to consecutive quarters of falling sales.
Apple is widely credited with kick-starting the tablet market with the launch of the original iPad in 2010, with several revisions released since, the most recent of which being the iPad Air in 2013.
However much of the recent growth in the sector has been driven by low-end, 7-inch Android devices. Apple hopes its larger, high end machine will appeal to business users, given its recent agreement with IBM.
As part of the deal, IBM will supply its customers with iPhones and iPads and build “hundreds” of applications targeting the retail, healthcare, banking and transportation sectors. Devices running both the IBM-developed applications and the generic software will be offered directly to IBM customers, with Apple providing remote support and IBM offering on-site management. The first ‘MobileFirst for iOS’ apps will appear this autumn, with more to follow in 2015.
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