Apple has reportedly shelved plans for a 12-inch to 13-inch iPad, a device that many have called an iPad Pro. Citing unspecified and unnamed rumors, DigiTimes said that Apple has canceled its plans for such a device even as other companies were running into hurdles trying to bring their own large tablets to market.
This rumor needs perspective, and that starts with the reality that there is a difference between plans to make a device and testing out ideas to see if there's any meat on the concept bone. It was DigiTimes that first fed the rumors of a large iPad based on leaks from Apple's supply chain, and now it's DigiTimes saying that Apple has shelved those plans.
There is zero doubt in my mind that Apple ordered parts for such a device, just as it is inconceivable that Apple hasn't been testing larger and smaller iPad form factors. But, and that's a really big but, there is a far cry between making up prototypes to test and play around with and making plans to manufacture a device to sell.
Apple does this sort of thing all the time. The company is always testing out new materials, new manufacturing techniques, and alternative components for its existing product lines, and the company is also known to have a lot of things made so that it can test new product ideas. When you're a company like Apple, this is all in a day's business.
This testing process is the source of many of the new product rumors that come out of Taiwan and China, including many of the stories published by DigiTimes. That publication is plugged into Apple's supply chain like no other, but that supply chain seldom (if ever) knows what Apple is planning to actually do with all of these components.
In this case, Apple likely had some larger iPad form factors made to test, and that's as far as it went.
If you're curious about such a device might look like, we ran a video in February featuring a mockup a 13-inch iPad running OS X.