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Apple rumoured to be testing iPad Maxi

Apple could unveil a larger screen iPad in March with one of its manufacturing allies allegedly testing the new device already.

Chinese tablet news site PadNews reports that Foxconn is at an “advanced stage of testing” the larger screen iPad, which will have a display that is either 11.4in or 12.9in.

The same site speculates that Apple is targeting a March 2014 unveiling for the new device, which is being dubbed the iPad XL by some media outlets and iPad Maxi by others.

It’s not the first time there has been speculation over a larger version of its tablet computer with the Wall Street Journal reporting back in July that Apple was prepping a prototype of an iPad with a screen “slightly less than 13in diagonally”.

Analysts have been making similar noises about a bigger screen size with Barclays’ Ben Reitzes stating that Apple would benefit from releasing a large screen iPad to make further inroads into the PC market and provide competition for the Microsoft Surface.

Reitzes expects it to be released at some point in the next 18 months and it flies in the face of Steve Jobs’s assertion that the Microsoft Surface is a “compromised, confusing product”.

The rumours come hot on the heels of Apple releasing its latest line of tablet devices with the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2, now both with a plush retina display.

Both tablets were the first to ship with Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor that is supplemented by an M7 motion coprocessor with the iPad Air slimmed down compared to previous versions and available now.

The iPad Mini 2, meanwhile, is another story entirely with prospective buyers still waiting for the device to be released and Apple admitting that it will be in short supply come Christmas time due to delays sourcing enough retina displays.