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A rumor published this morning predicts that Apple will release it’s long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro alongside the next generation iPad mini during the second half of the holiday season in Q4. Both will allegedly be assembled exclusively by Foxconn. That much we knew.

Speculation from Asian sources referenced by Economic Daily News suggests that Apple wants to ensure that nothing distracts from the focus on the larger iPad Pro, meaning the iPad Air 3 launch would be pushed back until 2016. In this seemingly unlikely scenario, when a Pro tablet is eventually launched, it’s more likely to fit a niche in the market rather than be the new, main device Cupertino is touting.

What’s more, the story goes as far as suggesting that Apple might discontinue the iPad mini range altogether after the 4th generation mini. This suggestion itself is highly speculative. We’re not sure even Apple would know if the iPad mini 4 is its last mini tablet, or not, at this point in time. That seems like a decision that would be made after seeing how the market reacts to the mini 4. Perhaps Apple is planning to build a hybrid Mini/iPod touch next year?

Saying that, with the iPhone 6 Plus on the market now, Apple has a large smartphone on the market which could cannibalize sales of any small tablets it sells. Especially when the presumed second generation 6 Plus hits store shelves.

With the iPad Pro, Apple is expected to launch a large tablet to bridge a gap which may, or may not, exist between tablets and laptops. Or more specifically, between iPad Air and MacBook. With the launch of multi-window multitasking in iOS 9, a larger screened tablet seems a no-brainer. iOS 9 itself also seemingly contains code pointing towards an iPad with a larger screen and higher resolution than the iPad Air currently on the market.

As always, treat any of this information as speculation and take the appropriate dosage of salt along with it. We’re doubtful of a lot being rumored from EDN.

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