Apple announced a high-capacity version of its latest iPad tablet, which includes 128GB of storage – compared to the previous maximum of 64GB.
In a statement, the company said that this will enable “enterprises, educators and artists” to use the device for “all their business and personal needs” – indicating it sees the device as a replacement for, rather than supplement to, a laptop PC.
Indeed, the company played-up the iPad’s enterprise credentials, arguing that “virtually all of the Fortune 500 and over 85 percent of the Global 500” companies are either deploying or testing iPads.
Philip Schiller, SVP of worldwide marketing at Apple, said: “With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and every day they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs.”
Unsurprisingly, the new version of the market-leading tablet will not be cheap.
Available from next week, it has a suggested retail price of US$799 for the Wi-Fi-only model, or $929 for the integrated cellular device.
In terms of competition, the device looks set to be a rival for Microsoft’s similarly enterprise-focused Surface tablets, and in particular the soon-to-launch model running the full version of Windows 8.
This too is available in a 128GB variant – although reports said that, thanks to its less-than-slimline operating system, storage available to users is more likely to be around 80GB.
And to a large extent, the same problem exists for this device as for the Windows RT-powered Surface, which is widely believed to have had an unspectacular market debut – the lack of apps.
While Windows RT requires a complete re-write of Windows apps, there is at least commonality between the Windows 8-powered Surface and its desktop siblings – until taking into account the differences between user interface and use cases for tablet devices.
Microsoft previously said that the 128GB version of Surface with Windows 8 (Wi-Fi only) will be priced at US$999.