Yesterday Apple announced its premium iPad. It’s a 128GB iPad with Retina. In other words, it’s the iPad 4 with double the storage previously available. It goes on sale Tuesday February 5th. It comes in black or white, just like the older iPad. The new tablet will set you back $799 for a wifi-only model and $929 for the wifi+cellular.
Think about this: it’s an iPad with 128GB of storage. That’s what $1,099 will get you if you buy a MacBook Air. That’s a lot for a tablet, unless you’re using it for production or more professional work.
What’s it Mean for Apple?
Apple is always striving to stay ahead of the competition. Not lightyears ahead, but just enough to make their products more enticing to consumers. In this case, it is offering a tablet with much more storage than the rivals at a price that will be hard to match. For instance, look at Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It’s $899 for 64GB of storage. Well, sort of. Most of it is taken up by the OS, leaving the end-user with 23GB of actual storage. Granted, we can’t make a direct comparison, because the Microsoft tablet is running on Windows 8 Pro, which means it’s a full desktop operating system. Still, that will give you an idea of how very different the price per GB is in each of the two tablets.
Basically, Apple is putting itself in a place where someone in the market for a tablet with those 128GB space requirements will choose them based on a price that’s hard to match.
What’s this mean for Power Users?
Power users have something to look forward to here, and it seems like that’s who Apple wants to market this towards. Even in the press release Apple seems to emphasize that. Phil Schiller, senior vp of worldwide marketing, mentioned “enterprises, educators and artists,” have this tablet for their “business and personal needs.”
The announcement also goes into the iPad in business use. A portion of the press release goes on to say the following:
iPad continues to have a significant impact on business with virtually all of the Fortune 500 and over 85 percent of the Global 500 currently deploying or testing iPad. Companies regularly utilizing large amounts of data such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, project blueprints, training videos and service manuals all benefit from having a greater choice of storage options for iPad. The over 10 million iWork users, and customers who rely on other incredible apps like Global Apptitude for analyzing team film and creating digital playbooks, Auria for an incredible 48 track recording system, or AutoCAD for drafting architectural and engineering drawings, also benefit greatly from having the choice of an iPad with more storage capacity.
That paragraph makes it very clear that Apple wants business professionals to see the benefit in the extra space. Large AutoCAD files, audio files for the iPad DAW Auria, and video will all have plenty of space on this device. For instance, we discovered a few years back how useful iMovie for iOS can be. It makes it unbelievably easy to capture video, slice it, add text and post it on YouTube. The problem was that space can become a problem when you are shooting HD video. Having 128GB at our disposal (minus the OS, and some apps, of course) makes for the ability to capture much more video.
Some of us don’t do production work, and we don’t need all that extra space for capturing audio or making home movies. Those folks may be happy with one of the current offerings. However, if they are big movie fans, they may find themselves loving the extra space, and using it to hold several movies at once. Usually, I find myself switching out between movies every-so-often. That’s probably typical. It would be nice to have them all on my iPad, but that isn’t likely unless I pay some major extra cash. It’s all about what works for you.