Apple just launched two new iPads, but the rumor mill is already whispering about what the next update will bring. Word on the street is Apple partner Foxconn is testing a much bigger version of the iPad for next year. The current iPad is a 9-inch device, and Apple has a second, smaller iPad, the iPad Mini, rounding out the line. Could the company be adding an iPad XL to its portfolio next year?
AppleInsider cites Chinese tablet's new website, PadNews, in reporting that Apple is in the 'advanced stage of testing' a tablet that measures either 11.4- or 12.9-inches diagonally. The report mentions a March 2014 unveiling, which seems unlikely given that Apple's iPad refresh schedule follows a fall launch schedule. Then again, this would be a brand new device, so it's possible Apple could unveil it in the middle of the iPad's cycle.
This isn't the first time we've heard talk of a larger iPad, but Apple has offered no indication that it plans to add a third iPad to its line. Rumors of a larger iPad form factor first arrived earlier this year and then surfaced again in July with news that Apple was testing prototypes with 13-inch screens. What's unknown at this point is whether the larger device will sport the same resolution as the 9.7-inch model but will be stretched out across the physical space, or provide a higher ppi. Given that CEO Tim Cook said that 2014 would be a big year for Apple on the devices front, it wouldn't exactly be a shock to see a larger iPad next year.
The most recent iteration of the iPad was announced last month and is called the iPad Air. It's 20 percent thinner than the iPad 2 (7.5 mm vs. 8.6 mm), has a bezel that is 43 percent thinner, and is significantly lighter than the iPad 2, weighing in at just one pound (the iPad 2 weighs 1.4 pounds). Under the hood, you've got the same 64-bit A7 chip that powers the iPhone 5S, as well as a 9.7-inch Retina display (2048 x 1536 resolution), a 5-megapixel iSight camera, and a 10 hour battery life.
Apple also refreshed the iPad Mini, which finally has the Retina display we all longed for last year. It also runs on Apple's 64-bit A7 processor, quite a bump from the A5 chipset powering the original iPad Mini. It boasts a 5-megapixel iSight camera, and 10 hours of battery.