An upcoming iPad might be designed specifically with productivity in mind. The giant 12.9-inch iPad might launch as soon as spring 2015, according to new rumors. Apple has yet to confirm any information about the rumored larger iPad, but the reports match previous rumors that the company is working on a big-screen tablet dubbed the iPad Pro. If the rumors are true, the large iPad would be much bigger than any of the company's existing tablets, including the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display.
The supersize slate's screen would be about the same size as the screen on the 13-inch version of the MacBook Air. That's a big deal for business users: The 13-inch MacBook Air strikes a very good balance between portability and productivity. Current iPads are decent work machines — particularly if they're paired with a Bluetooth keyboard for extended typing sessions — but they don't offer enough screen real estate to be a feasible laptop replacement for most business users.
A larger iPad could help bridge the gap and entice more business users to adopt the device. In fact, the report comes after Apple already announced plans to partner with IBM to produce more than 100 enterprise-focused apps for the iOS platform, which could make the bigger iPad even better for business.
We can only speculate on other potential features for the larger iPad. For example, it's possible that Apple could produce a special keyboard dock for the device that would help it go head-to-head with Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, a laptop-tablet hybrid that's one of the most versatile business machines around.
These aren't the first reports that Apple is preparing to upsize its gadgets. The company is expected to unveil a larger iPhone in September, with most sources pointing toward a 4.7-inch display — a significant increase over the cramped 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5s.