We actually don't know anything concrete about the supposedly large iPad, which the internet is calling the "iPad Pro" or "iPad Air Plus." In fact, it might not even exist at all.
It's being touted as a business productivity tablet to compete with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.1, and Tim Cook hinted that earlier this year. But it looks like it could have a little something for everybody, including artists and anyone who wished the iPad had a bigger screen.
For now, here's what we know so far about the fabled "iPad Pro."
Dimensions and screen size
Most rumors allegedly coming from Apple's own screen manufacturers in Korea and industrial renderings suggest that the large iPad's screen could have a 12.9-inch display. That's 3.2 inches bigger than the iPad Air 2's 9.7-inch display, which is huge. In fact, if you're reading this on a laptop with a 13-inch screen, you can use it to get some perspective of how big the "iPad Air Plus" could be.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display, but it's also a fully-featured Windows computer.
Korean publication Korea IT News obtained information from its sources that Apple requested samples of pressure-sensitive screens with silver nano wire technology from companies like LG, Samsung, and Japan Display.
This means Apple could be adding Force Touch to its large iPad, which is a new input option for bringing up useful information or actions without needing to go to a new window or menu. For example, you can bring up link previews or quickly change an app's settings in a popup menu by adding a little pressure to your tap.
With a larger pressure sensitive display, rumors about a stylus for the "iPad Pro" might not be too outlandish for note takers who prefer hand-writing notes, or doodlers and artists who could bring an entire internet-connected art studio (in the form of an art app) around wherever they go.
Although, a stylus would probably be offered as an extra accessory rather than come included with the large iPad.
A USB-C Port
Often accompanying new mobile device rumors are "leaked" images of protective cases. They can reveal new ports for different types on connectors. We've seen a few case leaks for the big iPad with a rectangular port hole on the left side, and if Apple's recent MacBook is anything to go by, the logical connector that Apple would add to an iPad, if any, is USB-C. Then again, OnLeak's leaked profile images of the "iPad Pro's" dimensions above don't show any new ports.
USB-C is a new universal standard that can be used for pretty much anything you plug into a computer, like HDMI for a display, audio jacks, power, and any USB . Several Lightning cable adapters already exist for the iPad, but USB-C is an industry standard and will be cheaper to manufacture.
It's not yet clear if the USB-C would replace or accompany Apple's Lightning port that's currently used for charging, or if it will exist at all.
Apple added NFC to its latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus so they can make Apple Pay mobile payments, but we seriously doubt anyone will bring along a huge tablet to make mobile payments. Instead, large iPads could be used as payment terminals to receive mobile payments.
It could also be used to quickly pair wireless devices to the big iPad instead of going through the cumbersome Bluetooth pairing process.
Reports of more RAM coincide with Cult of Mac's discovery of potential plans for multitasking in an iOS 8 beta. That means we may be able to use two apps on one screen, which would be useful on such a large iPad as some apps don't necessarily need to take up all 12.9 inches of the display.
Some rumors point to the A8x processors found in iPad Air 2, others say it'll have an A9. Either way, it'll need to be powerful enough to run two or more multitasking apps smoothly. That is, if the big iPad will support multitasking. We may see the next iPhone don the A9 and the large iPad with an A9x, but now we're just adding spin to the rumor mill.
The last three iPads were announced and launched in the Fall, so we may see Apple's new behemoth this Fall, too. But we've also seen some rumors of a 2016 release due to Apple focusing on meeting iPhone 6 and Apple Watch demands.
If Apple is aiming for business and enterprise, it's not entirely clear how it plans to compete with Windows tablets running full versiosn of Windows 8.1 and eventually Windows 10. iOS and iPad touchscreens are simply too simple and cumbersome to used for business-style productivity purposes.
Surface tablets offer a fully functioning Windows experience. That may be something Apple cannot compete with anytime soon in the iOS ecosystem.
Make what you will with these rumors, and as always, none of this is confirmed until we hear and see it from Apple itself.