Apple's rumored 12.9-inch iPad may feature an operating system that integrates OS X and iOS, according to supply chain sources speaking to Digitimes. The sources state that Apple has two 12.9-inch iPad prototypes in development, with one model being a "2-in-1 device" that utilizes elements from both operating systems while the other resembles previous iPads. The report also notes that the 12.9-inch iPad isn't expected to go into mass production until 2015.
The idea of Apple combining both OS X and iOS into one platform has been a popular subject for quite some time, as both have begun to share design principles and features. Notably, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted earlier this year that the company is working on a combo operating system which would utilize an iOS device docked to a secondary display for a full computer experience.
However, Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi stated in a January interview with Macworld that iOS and OS X convergence is a "non-goal" for the company, with the latter saying that Apple's is focused on making best products for unique purposes. That vision was also shared by Federighi at this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, where he stated the following during the reveal of Apple's new "Continuity" features for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite:
At Apple, we believe you should be able to use the right device for the moment. We want the transitions between these moments to be as absolutely natural and seamless as possible.
Some of the Continuity features Apple is integrating with iOS 8 and OS X include "Handoff", which allows users to start a task on one device and finish it on another. Other features include the ability for users to answer a call made to their iPhone on the Mac, and the ability for iPads and Macs to receive SMS messages from non-Apple devices. It is likely that Apple will look to build more Continuity-like features that improve cross-platform integration between iOS and OS X as opposed to working on a full-blown hybrid platform.
Apple is said to be preparing its 12.9-inch iPad for early 2015. Some rumors have claimed that the tablet will come with an ultra high-resolution display and adopt an ultra-thin chassis and narrow side bezels similar to the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini.