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Following several reports and rumors over the last year, Bloomberg is reporting today that Apple is preparing to release a larger 12.9-inch iPad in early 2015:

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s suppliers are preparing to manufacture the company’s largest-ever iPad, with production scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter… The new iPad will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public

We’ve seen several reports as far back as last year claiming that Apple has been preparing a larger iPad somewhere in the neighbourhood of 12-inches. The Wall Street Journal reported in July of last year that Apple was testing iPads with “a display “measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally.” Another report from the Korea Times last year claimed that Apple was planning a larger 12.9-inch tablet that was being prepared for release early this year.

The larger screen iPad could certainly be attractive to many professionals and could go hand in hand with Apple’s plans to have its recently announced partnership with IBM result in growth for the company’s tablet sales. It would also make a lot of sense with the Microsoft Surface-like split-screen multitasking mode that we reported earlier this year is planned for iOS 8.

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