Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple is already preparing to manufacture a 12.9-inch iPad that's slated to come out in early 2015. Production will begin in the first quarter. The report says that Apple has been working with their suppliers for at least a year on a range of larger touch-screen devices. This new iPad would give the line three different sizes: 7.9 inches, 9.7 inches, and 12.9 inches.
Similarly, the iPhone line is expected to have three different sizes starting this fall: 4 inches, 4.7 inches, and 5.5 inches. That's quite a switch from when Apple offered a single iPhone size and a single size for the iPad. And it certainly marks a departure from Apple's history of having a narrow product line.
The larger iPad could fit well with Apple's new partnership with IBM, as iPhones and iPads increasingly make their way into the enterprise. One could imagine the larger size being pitched as a business solution. The new Apple/IBM program is expected to be rolled out later this year.
Sales of tablets have been flagging, iPads in particular, with Apple's last two quarters showing a year-over-year decline in sales. Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't concerned, though. According to a report on AppleInsider, he said that the recent slowdown is a temporary "speed bump" and that he expects future growth.