Rumors have been swirling for weeks regarding possible new Apple products, including slimmer iPads and cheaper iPhones. One rumor regarding more storage in an iOS device has turned out to be true: Apple has just announced the release of a 128-gigabyte fourth-generation iPad.
Quietly announced on the company's site earlier Tuesday morning, the new iPad will be offered for $799 for the Wi-Fi version and $929 for the Wi-Fi/cellular version. The new pricing for the high-capacity iPad essentially puts it on par, price-wise, with the 11-inch MacBook Air, which starts at $999, a fact that may make choosing between the two a bit tougher for those looking for an ultra-portable computing solution. At this price point, the only significant differences between the two formats now are: iOS versus OS X, and touchscreen versus keyboard.
Commenting on the release, Apple's Phil Schiller said, "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." In the announcement, other business uses for the higher capacity iPad are mentioned, which indicates that the company has been listening to professionals in various arenas who have been calling for more storage as the tablet is increasingly used as a work tool.
Another bit of iPad news surfaced today when 9to5Mac released photos of what it believes is the new back case design for the fifth-generation iPad. The images, which were reportedly sent from a supply chain source in Asia, show a new design for the 9.7-inch iPad that closely resembles the rounded corners and matte black surface of the iPad mini. That version of the iPad is rumored to be scheduled for release in October
In the meantime, for those unwilling to wait for what might be a newly designed iPad, Apple plans to make the new 128- gigabyte fourth-generation iPad available on February 5.