Apple announced a 128GB iPad this morning. Aside from the memory bump, nothing has changed, but we should take note of a pricing phenomenon and the market Apple is marketing towards.
There is now only a $70 difference between the top of the line iPad and the cheapest Macbook. That’s bananas and illustrates the full spectrum of computing Apple now offers (though we’ll need a Mac Pro replacement to properly bookend the top.)
Many are scoffing at this minuscule gap and chastising anyone who’d pick this up ahead of the Air. But Apple knows it’s market here, and the third paragraph in their press release explains their motivations:
Pad 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.
This is the iPad Pro. An enterprise iPad, if you will. It will sell, mainly to businesses and independent contractors. If the 128GB sees traction as Apple tests the waters, I expect we’ll see more segmentation in the iPad line.