Apple said to postpone production of rumored larger-display iPads

A larger-screen iPad will ship later in the year as Apple mulls over features for the product, claims one report

Apple has reportedly delayed the production of its rumored larger-screen iPads, while it works out the final design and features for the product targeted at businesses, says a Wall Street Journal report. (Apple has not announced such a product, which has been the subject of rumors for more than a year.)

Apple purportedly had earlier told suppliers that it wanted to mass-produce a 12.9-inch iPad in the current quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Apple has now moved the production to the second half of this year, according to the report.

Production of the devices is now scheduled for around September, according to Bloomberg, which said the change was because of delays in connection with the supply of display panels.

Apple's most recent models are the iPad Air 2 with a 9.7-inch screen and the iPad Mini 3, which has a 7.9-inch display. 

Among the redesign issues that are the purportedly delaying the company is a rumored decision over the addition of USB ports compliant with the new and faster USB 3.0 specification, the Wall Street Journal said. Again, Apple has not announced that it would bring USB to the iPad.

Another area that Apple is purportedly working on is speeding up the charging time for the device, but it may not figure in the final design, the Journal reported, quoting one of the people familiar with the matter. The company is also considering adding ports for a keyboard and mouse, the report claims.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company is expected to announce new products at an event on Monday in San Francisco. One of the products that will likely be unveiled in greater detail is the Apple Watch, the company's pitch for the smartwatch market.

The purported new large iPad could boost Apple's flagging fortunes in the tablet market. It said it sold 21.4 million iPads in the quarter ended Dec. 27, a year-over-year drop of 18 percent by units and 22 percent by revenue. Its market share dropped to about 28 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from around 33 percent in the same quarter a year earlier, amid a 3.2 percent global drop in the number of tablets shipped, research firm IDC reported.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.