Did you think that Apple is running out of ideas? I, for one, am surprised by this move from the Cupertino folks. The rumors about a 128 GB iPad are so fresh that it’s hard to believe it’s already real. Usually, rumors and speculations appear weeks and months before the product itself gets launched, such as it was the case with the iPad Mini, for example.
And no – this is not the iPad 5. It’s still the iPad 4 with a lot of storage, in plain English. In what somebody could call a “silent” announcement, Apple informed us that a 128 GB model will hit the stores on February the 5th. But the prices aren’t easy on the pocket at all – the Wi-Fi one costs $799 and the Wi-Fi plus LTE model costs a whopping $929.
A lot of storage for a lot of money
From what we know so far and what has Apple told us, the storage is the single difference in this new iPad model. Why that much space, right? Phill Schiller answers:
With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs. With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.
So, basically, this launch is meant to target a niche of users, for example, those that use AutoCAD files, 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, project blueprints, training videos and service manualsmulti-track music files. The $929 price is very near to MacBook Air’s base model price ($999) so I really doubt this model will have a lot of buyers.
Who will buy it?
Apple obviously targets entreprise customers and those that are involved with a lot of content, for example film makers, audio/video editors. Also, architects, designers and engineers will probably find the 128 GB iPad an useful tool, since they need a lot of storage for their projects. But why even these targeted users shouldn’t buy something else for this big amount of cash? I’ll make a guess – for many out there, storage is very, very important. Also, for many out there, portability is becoming to be crucial, especiall for the above mentioned categories. And even if the iPad doesn’t have the processing power of the MacBook Air or of an Ultrabook, for example, it has the “cool” factor. This is a bet that Apple could win.
But let’s compare it with other iPad models. Let’s say that you don’t necessarily need LTE, so the 800 dollars iPad is what you need. For 800 dollars you could buy:
- 2 base model iPad Mini units and still have $140 left
- exactly 2 base model iPad 2 units
- add 200$ more and get 2 base model iPad 4 units
And there are many other combinations for that amount of money, not to mention the expensive $929 version. It will be curious to see how will consumers react to this new model but I think Apple knows what it’s doing. Right now, even a “few” million sold iPads are vital to the company, in a moment when investors have their eyebrow raised.
This move is interesting, because it shows that Apple further wants to diversify its portfolio of products. Even the launch of the iPad Mini is a sign that Apple looks to extend its range of products. After a very, very successful conference call, Apple’s stock has went down, as a result of lack of trust from Wall-Street. Could this be an answer from Tim Cook and company?