Apple is preparing to launch a 128GB iPad model, according to new reports.

A source from a high-profile US retailer reportedly told 9To5Mac that Apple will soon launch a single new model of its iPad, with the device expected to be an addition to the current iPad 4 line-up with a storage capacity of 128GB. That's double the maximum 64GB storage capacity currently available for the iPad.

9To5Mac's claims come alongside reports that the latest iOS 6.1 beta indicates that a 128GB iOS device is in the pipeline.

Apple seeded the new iOS 6.1 beta to developers on Saturday, and further inspection of its BuildManifests has highlighted a new system partition key size of 128GB, in addition to the usual 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB partitions.

This 128GB iPad is tipped to come in both the black and white colour options currently offered by Apple for the iPad 4 line-up, and will be available in WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular versions, says 9To5Mac. Pricing details have not yet been obtained.

The report notes that the new iPad could be launched specifically for government agencies, retail, or for other internal uses, rather than as a public release.

With the growing size of iPad apps since the launch of the iPad with Retina display, it seems likely that an iPad with a larger storage capacity will be necessary for many consumers at some point in the near future.

The rumours of a bigger iPad come as Apple's tablet celebrates its third birthday. Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPad on 27 January 2010 at a special event in San Francisco, calling it "our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price."

What do you think about the possibility of a 128GB iPad? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter.

See also:

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