Apple confirms 128GB iPad launch

(Relaxnews) - Apple's new giant capacity 128 GB iPad will, the company claims, make the device even more valuable for business and personal use.

Following rumors that started appearing on the internet over the weekend about a new iPad, Apple has officially launched a new 128GB version of its category-defining tablet to sit alongside the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions it already offers.

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," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "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."

The announcement comes as the iPad celebrates its third birthday. On January 27, 2010, Steve Jobs took to the stage and said "I think we've got something," referring to the need to develop a product that could truly sit between a smartphone and a notebook computer in terms of performance and features. As well as creating a new product category, official figures show that Apple alone has sold 135 million tablets since the summer of 2010 and given the heads of a number of traditional PC manufacturing companies many sleepless nights in the process.

To try to put into perspective the impact that tablets in general and the iPad in particular have had on the consumer technology market, Apple's iPad-generated revenues, which currently stand at $10.6 billion, are almost equal with Dell's total revenues across all product lines -- business and consumer, desktop and notebook PCs. Industry analysts Canalys predicts that tablets will continue to be the driving force in the PC market for years to come, forecasting annual growth of 37 percent up to 2016 when it expects 398 million units to ship. This will give tablets a 59 percent share of the PC market.

But as the popularity of these devices continues to grow, so does the need for greater storage capacity. According to ABI Research's latest study into the apps market, published in October, the average size of a smartphone or tablet app grew by 16 percent to 23MB just over the first six months of 2012. That's the global average, but if only games are considered then the average size is now 60MB, a 42 percent increase since March. And while larger apps have often been designed to take full advantage of faster processors and high definition screens, like Apple's Retina Display, it also means that very soon a tablet with 16GB or even 32GB of internal storage will not be sufficient to run the 31 apps the average tablet user has installed on their device at any one time.

A number of Android tablets offer memory expansion via an SD slot, a feature that Apple does not feature on its mobile devices; therefore increasing internal storage to a huge 128GB not only makes the iPad the tablet with the largest internal storage capacity of any such device currently available, it also future-proofs the device against this growing trend for bigger apps.

Available in black or white, the 128GB iPad will go on sale in the US and Europe on February 5 priced at $799 (€814) for the wi-fi only model and $929 (€944) for wi-fi and LTE4G connectivity. Copyright (AFP RELAXNEWS), 2013.