Right, the iPad…
Originally marketed as a PC killer, a device for creating. But in reality mostly used for consumption. And what else can you expect from what essentially is a blown-up phone? On its own not really a problem, but as phones are getting larger and larger, differences between tablet and phone sizes are becoming smaller and thus also the need for a bigger screen, at least for a lot of people. It’s probably one of the reasons why it took Apple so long to release a bigger phone. I have read stories from people who use their iPad less now that they have an iPhone 6 Plus.
And, as it turned out, a lot of people don’t feel the need to upgrade their iPad every year or even two years. Video consumption simply doesn’t require a very advanced processor.
I agree with what some others have written: a larger iPad probably won’t solve the problem. Sure, the difference between phone sizes and tablet sizes grows again, but the device also becomes less portable. Many people take their tablet with them and some even use it to take pictures. iOS 9 introduces a few new features which make it easier to multitask and thus being productive, but I think it’s too much to say that it’s enough to live up to that original promise.
There was no reason for an iPad Air without a Pro version and we now have had two Air devices without that counterpart. But apparently Apple has been testing a larger iPad for a longer time. As stated here, the operating system is the problem, not the hardware. Simply releasing a larger version wouldn’t make any difference if you are targeting the same audience.
I think the Microsoft Surface is exactly what Apple wants. Microsoft marketed it (especially the Surface 3) as the one device that could replace both your tablet and your laptop, and for most people, I think that would have been true. But not for me, since my Android tablet/Windows laptop combination was cheaper and delivered a better experience for my needs, especially because of the Windows 8 app problem.
So I think a version of OS X for the larger iPad Pro would make more sense. And if they do that, it will be interesting to see if they use the same thing that runs on the Mac or come up with a slightly slimmed down version that also runs iOS apps. If they do that, it would leave them with iOS, Watch OS, OS X and iPad OS while Microsoft just has Windows 10. And inevitably the question remains if people actually want to replace their laptop with a screen and a keyboard, which probably is going to be sold separately, or just like the larger screen for watching Netflix and keep the device for another four years.