By Alexandra Burlacu | Jan 05, 2014 09:06 AM EST
Apple is reportedly planning to launch a 12-inch iPad and an analyst now claims that the tablet may hit the market sometime this fall.
Rumors of a larger iPad have been making rounds for quite some time, although Apple has yet to make an official announcement. The latest rumor is that Apple could launch a 12-inch iPad dubbed the "iPad 6" sometime in the fall of 2014.
According to a new MacRumors report, Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang claims that his sources have confirmed the existence of a larger iPad, and the 12-inch tablet could hit the market by the end of the year.
Wang's sources reportedly said that it was a "hybrid" device that would help bridge the gap between notebooks and tablets. The purported 12-inch iPad would be designed with enterprise users in mind. The analyst further claims that the larger iPad could boast a new A8 quad-core processor and come with increased storage capacity.
"Arriving in fall '14, Apple goes enterprise with a 12" iPad. Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM's reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it," Wang reportedly wrote in a research note, as cited by MacRumors.
Aside from these predictions, Wang also highlights the challenges Apple may face with such plans for a 12-inch iPad targeting the enterprise market. First of all, the idea of increased storage capacity would mean more than 128GB of internal storage, as that's the largest capacity currently available for the current iPad. Second, Apple still doesn't offer support for the full-fledged Microsoft Office Suite, which could be an issue on the enterprise market. On the other hand, Microsoft is rumored to be working on an iPad version of its Office Suite, which could launch sometime in the fall as well.
This new report falls in line with previous rumors about a larger iPad. Just last week, DigiTimes reported that Apple could unleash a 12.9-inch iPad in October. The publication further pointed out that large-screen iPads could eventually affect demand for ultrabooks.
Despite several reports claiming that Apple will launch a larger iPad this year, without official confirmation we'll have to file everything in the rumor category for now. Until Apple makes an official announcement regarding its plans to launch an iPad 6, take all such reports with a grain of salt.