There has been a number of rumors circulating about Apple’s renewed desire to manufacture a larger tablet given the success of the iPhone 6 Plus. Originally thought to be called the “iPad Plus”, this device may now find itself rebranded as "iPad Air Plus" and could incorporate a 12.2” screen to compete with the Surface Pro 3 and 12.2” Samsung Galaxy Note Pro.
This leak originates from Mac Fan, a Japanese magazine which contains schematics for the new iPad in the latest January issue. According to the magazine, the Air Plus will measure 305.31 x 220.8 x 7mm and utilizes Apple's upcoming flagship A9 processor. Initial predictions suggest that the shipping date should be between April and June 2015.
Interestingly, the report claims the Air Plus will feature four built-in speakers on each side in order to play stereo sound even when the unit is being rotated. Often, the small form factor of tablets results in mediocre audio quality and requires either a set of headphones or dedicated dock for optimal listening. If the report's claims are accurate, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact something like this has for audio on small, portable devices.
Another consideration to take into account is the viability of tablets over 12” in size and their target audience. Tablets are designed to be portable and easy to use, so the idea of increasing their size seems a little contradictory. That said, there are some arguments to be made in favor of larger tablets, especially if they are to challenge laptops as people's main computing device.
Unfortunately, there are no further details in regards to storage, memory or tweaks to iOS for the form factor, but details may arrive in the coming months.