Rumors turned out to be correct, and Apple has launched a 128GB version of the fourth generation iPad with Retina Display. The 128GB version comes in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions, and will be available Tuesday, February 5 from Apple retail, Apple online and Apple authorized resellers in both black and white.
Apple’s 128GB fourth generation iPad is designed to cater to users with greater storage demands, like enterprise users, creative professionals and those in the medical industry, according to details shared in the official press release announcing the new model.
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,” Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller is quoted as saying in the release. “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.
Apple also includes testimonial quotes from an AutoCad VP, the CEO of professional audio company WaveMachine Labs, and professional sports analytics company Global Apptitude. It’s likely a good strategy to aim this at those kinds of customers, given that with a price tag this high, the number of general consumers such an option would appeal to could be quite limited. Apple should make much more money on this particular SKU, however, given that generally its profit margins increase as storage capacity goes up on iOS devices.
A mid-cycle capacity bump is an unusual move for Apple, which, especially with iOS devices, has generally stuck to a fairly regular update schedule where devices get more extensive hardware changes roughly once a year. I said in our post about 9to5Mac’s pre-release leak on a 128GB version of the Retina iPad that this actually makes sense for a number of reasons, however, since it injects some new life into a device that was last updated in October and likely won’t see another major update for at least another six months. Plus, it differentiates the iPad further from the iPad mini, and could put the tablet even more in competition with ultraportables and other PCs now using flash storage in similar capacities, but with much higher price tags, especially in those industries singled out by Apple.
The news isn’t a complete surprise thanks to 9to5Mac’s reports from retail sources. Traditionally, the site has had solid info about Apple’s new product pipeline, and this time proved to be no exception. But it is rare that we get a chance to see an Apple rumor hit the web and then get confirmed in such quick succession.