Long-time manufacturing partner Foxconn is currently testing giant-sized iPads ahead of a spring 2014 launch if the latest rumors are to be believed.
According to Chinese tech site Pad News, the XL-sized, handbag-splitting tablets will have an 11.9-inch or 12.9-inch display -- giving them the same physical footprint as Apple's existing MacBook Air ultra-light notebooks -- and could be announced as soon as March.
When rumors first started swirling that Apple was looking into building bigger tablets, a number of tech sites and journalists dismissed the claims as a hoax, but in recent months, reports have been appearing in the mainstream press, including a story in the Wall Street Journal in July that claimed Apple was testing larger screens for all of its devices including "a prototype iPad with a screen sized "slightly less than 13 inches diagonally."
A number of analysts believe that Apple is set to release a hybrid or convertible computing device that looks like a notebook but runs iOS rather than the company's desktop operating system.
And while Tim Cook went to great lengths to describe such products as misdirected and as the Netbook mark II during the iPad Air's official launch in October, a number of PC makers, specifically Sony, Lenovo, HP and Dell, have been experimenting with the ‘tabletop' PC form. An all-in-one computer with a 20-inch or greater screen which can be laid flat and used as a standalone family tablet.
What's more, other tech commentators have pointed to the fact that Apple decided to call its fifth-generation iPad the iPad Air as proof a bigger, more powerful iPad ‘Pro' is in the works.