Apple Inc. is fighting back to regain lost ground in the tablet market, once its second biggest source of sales, with an iPad that is almost as big as a laptop computer.
The new line will feature a 12.9-inch screen, slightly smaller than some if its laptops, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing unnamed suppliers.
Production is scheduled to start in the first quarter next year. At present, Apple produces iPads with 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch screens.
The new product has been a year in the making since Apple chief executive Tim Cook shook up the iPad line after two straight quarters of falling sales amid a lack of new models.
As a result, consumers have gravitated toward smartphones with bigger screens.
That helped Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system become the top tablet operating system last year with 62 percent of the market, according to researcher Gartner Inc.
IPads, which use Apple’s iOS mobile software, had a 36 percent market share at the end of 2013, down from 53 percent a year earlier.
Apple will update the 9.7-inch iPad and make a new version of the iPad mini in time for the holiday sales season, the report said.
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