With Tuesday’s’s announcement of a 128GB iPad 4, Apple is clearly signaling that the iPad is not only suitable for serious work, but that it can be the primary machine for many users. Most commenters have fixated on fitting extra movies and other consumables into the extra 64GB of space, but they’re forgetting about work.
In fact, I’d say that the iPad With Retina Display, as Apple now insists on calling it, is the new desktop machine, and the iPad mini is the new laptop. Why? Let me explain:
It’s not that a 128GB iPad is an unwelcome thing, of course. More storage for apps, movies and music is always a good thing… except, if it’s just a matter of soldering in a couple of 64GB NAND modules instead of a couple of 32GB NAND modules, why the heck didn’t Apple release a 128GB iPad when they refreshed the iPad in October?
In other words, why now? Why announce it today, on a sleepy Tuesday morning at the tail-end of January? And who is this thing for, anyway?
Apple has officially announced a 128GB version of the fourth-generation iPad, coming in both WiFi and WiFi+ Cellular models. They’ll be available next week on Tuesday, February 5th, in black or white, and cost $799 for the WiFi model and $929 for the WiFi + Cellular model.
In the official press release, Apple’s not trying too hard to emphasize this as anything more than what it is: a doubling of storage capacity on the high-end. The timing, though, is curious, coming just a couple months before a (presumed) March or April iPad event; this perhaps implies that a fifth-gen iPad isn’t incoming until later in the year.
It’s curious that Apple has taken so long to release an iOS device with 128GB of storage, when the flash modules Apple has needed to do it have existed for years. Is a 128GB iPhone on the table next?