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A 12.9-inch iPad is still on its way, but later than expected

With iPad sales declining over four consecutive quarters, Apple is looking at ways to breathe new life into its tablet line-up. The so-called iPad Pro is expected to be the next addition to its range of slates, though a report Wednesday suggests supply chain issues have hit launch plans.

Apple is well known to give little away about upcoming products, but reports from a wide range of sources over the last year strongly suggest the company has been working on a 12.9-inch tablet. However, delays with the supply of display panels mean production of the device isn’t likely to begin until September, according to sources claiming to be in the know that spoke to Bloomberg this week.

Related: DT’s review of the iPad Air 2

The report suggests the tech company had originally hoped to start making the tablet this quarter, though it now looks as if CEO Tim Cook won’t be pulling the wraps off the Pro till the fall at the earliest.

Apple’s tablet sales hit 21.4 million units for the last three months of 2014, and while that’s certainly not a figure to scoff at, it was nevertheless below Wall Street expectations and marked a year-on-year sales drop of 18 percent.

Related: Everything we think we know about the iPad Pro

It’s possible the recently introduced large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is impacting sales of the 7.9-inch iPad Mini, and even the 9.7-inch iPad, a factor that may have persuaded Apple to turn its attention to the creation of a super-sized alternative.

The company is expected to aim its as-yet unannounced 12.9-inch slate at business users and educators, with the rumored inclusion of a stylus perhaps helping to attract extra interest in such sectors. Game developers, too, are likely to see potential in the bigger screen.

Whatever the case, it looks like those interested in the idea of a huge iPad are going to have to wait a little longer than originally expected.