Apple partnering with OEM manufacturer Quanta for a 12″ iPad

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The 12″ Apple iPad rumor is given a new twist, with a manufacturer from the ranks of Quanta already confirmed. Quanta seems to be a bit of an odd choice, given that it assembles laptops and ultrabooks for the big brands, rather than tablets, but it might be just prototype batches Apple is making before it arrives at the final design and specs.

Alternatively, if the Quanta story holds water, Apple might be looking to venture into a new category, currently occupied by the onslaught of Win 8 convertibles, with flippable and detachable screen parts, or with innovative hinge mechanisms. Such an approach would make better sense for a 12-incher, as it won’t really cover the obligatory “small and light” requirement for a media consumption device you can always carry with you, like the 9.7″ iPads.

Rumors about a 12″ iPad have been around for a while, and went in parallel with suggestions Samsung is also making a 12-incher, which we even saw pictured not long ago. Korean publications were claiming that we might even see Samsung trying to beat Apple to market with a 12″ Galaxy Note in Q4, meaning Apple’s eventual large slab might be prepped for a spring unveiling, which will leave the field wide open for the glut of Intel Haswell and BayTrail-powered convertibles that are now sporting battery life commensurate with ARM-based gear.

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