US President Barack Obama using an iPad / Reuters

Apple reported its first ever drop in tablet revenue this year, although a new deal with corporate giant IBM is hoped to reverse the iPad's fortunes

Most of the Apple-related excitement floating round the web at the moment is focused on the iPhone 6, but a new report reminds us that the company still makes tablets too, with production on two new iPads apparently kicking off this month.

Bloomberg says that mass production of an iPad with a 9.7-inch screen is under way, with the tablet due to be unveiled at the end of this quarter or the beginning of the next. An updated 7.9-inch device is also in the works although it probably won’t be available by the end of the year.

Nothing much is known about what’s new for these devices, although Bloomberg says the larger tablet (likely an updated iPad Air) will feature “anti-reflection coating” on the display to make it easier to read.

The tablet business is a difficult one for Apple at the moment, with sales slipping by nice per cent year on year into 2014 as cheaper Android devices eat into the market (another problem is the long replacement cycle for tablets – people hang on to them much longer than phones).  

All this has added up to the first ever year-on-year drop in revenue for the iPad, although Apple is hoping to stem this bleed with a new deal with IBM. Announced earlier this year, this partnership is aimed at getting Apple’s tablets into the hands of businesses – a market where Microsoft is still dominant.