On Tuesday, Apple announced that it would start selling a fourth-generation iPad with a 128GB storage capacity, doubling the size of the previously-largest model. The bigger devices will be available starting February 5 and will cost $799 for the WiFi model and $929 for the WiFi + 4G model. But do consumers really need this upgrade? And by extension, is it worth the extra money?
With the availability of iCloud (not to mention the Amazon Cloud Player app), from which you can download or stream any of your purchased content, do we need the devices themselves to have that much storage space at all? If you only have the WiFi model, it's easy enough to plan ahead and load the correct media on to your device before a long trip (or at least enough to get you to the next wireless access point), and with the cellular models you can swap at any time. (Of course, there will be scenarios when connections are hard to come by, and arriving at your secluded cabin only to realize that you can't access the entire first and second seasons of Downton Abbey is, admittedly, a real drag.)
It's actually been suggested that one of the reasons for this out-of-nowhere upgrade is not for user convenience, but rather because Microsoft is scheduled to release its Surface Pro tablet on February 9 — and the competing manufacturer just happened to gloat that the Pro would be available in a 128GB flavor. The theory goes that Apple is trying to steal the Pro's thunder, and, at $999, Microsoft is indeed going to find it hard to compete with an Apple product that's (stunner of all stunners) cheaper than a Windows device. Point: Apple!
What do you, dear reader, think? Do you have a need for 128GB of storage space on a portable device, or is it overkill? Is Apple filling a gap in their product line, or just spiting Microsoft? Let us know where you stand by sounding off in the comments below!
Photo credit digibuzz