Seriously, for real this time, the 12in MaxiPad is totally on the way ...

... allegedly ... sigh

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Apple is developing a 12.2-inch iPad that will go on sale within a year.

This time, the rumor is spreading from Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, which cites "reliable sources." It's claimed Cook and Co are in the final stages of designing a massive fondleslab to compete with the likes of the 10-inch Surface Pro and 12-inch Galaxy Note Pro.

"My source says front projection form-factor will be similar to Surface Pro 3, and thickness will be designed to between iPhone 6’s and iPhone 6 pro [Plus}'s. It will be thicker than iPad Air 2," reads a translation of the report.

"Product design concept seems to be based on iPad Air 2, pair of speakers and microphones will be added on top-side not only bottom's pair. iPad Pro might be capable for supporting stereo audio."

The report goes on to suggest that the plus-size "iPad Pro" would also use the Touch ID fingerprint reader introduced in the latest iPad models and the Apple Lightning connector interface.

Allegedly, the 12.2in tablet is set to ship in the third quarter of next year, though the report did not clarify whether that would be the third quarter of the calendar year (end of September) or Apple's third financial quarter (end of June).

If we sound a bit skeptical of this latest report, it's because we've been hearing these sort of "reliable" sources whispering about a full-size iPad for more than a year. Back in the Fall of 2013 it was suggested that the large-screen tab was already being tested in China and would arrive early in 2014.

Those claims turned out to be wrong. Then fresh rumors of a 12in iPad once again bubbled up to the surface ahead of last month's iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 launch.

That said, El Reg would not be shocked if the 12in iPad surfaces sooner than later. Apple has hinted it wants to merge elements of OS X and iOS, and a larger iPad would be the perfect canvas for such a marriage.

Additionally, Apple's enterprise deal with IBM would dovetail with the introduction of a large-screen iPad. ®

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