Would You Buy $800, 128-GB iPad? - InformationWeek

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1/28/2013
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Would You Buy $800, 128-GB iPad?

Hints from iOS 6.1 beta, iTunes suggest a higher-capacity iPad on deck for later this year.

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For those who feel that 64 GB of storage in their iPad isn't enough, there's good news. A new SKU has appeared that suggests a higher-capacity model is on the way, according to 9to5Mac. Rather than an entirely new iPad, this new SKU points to a variation of the fourth-generation iPad.

9to5Mac's source says the new iPad will be available in both black and white, in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+cellular versions, and will be offered to educational institutions and governments in packs of 10.

The current fourth-gen iPad is available in capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Apple's SKUs refer to these different storage capacities with descriptions of "good," "better" and "best." The new SKU is described as being "ultimate," which points to a capacity of 128 GB.

The report is corroborated by evidence found in the latest iOS 6.1 beta. References in iOS 6.1 have also suggested that a 128 GB model iPad is on the way. A higher-capacity iPad has also been referenced in iTunes 11.

[ Companies are finding innovative uses for tablets. Learn Why Royal Caribbean Treats iPads Like Bed Sheets. ]

Pricing for the new model will fall in line with Apple's current scheme. The Wi-Fi only version of the 128 GB model will cost $799. Adding cellular radios will push the price to a painful $929 -- which is just $70 cheaper than Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air.

Apple has not announced plans for such a tablet, nor has it confirmed 9to5Mac's report.

Given the relatively inexpensive access to cloud storage services, the usefulness of such a high-capacity iPad is questionable. Speaking personally, I stick with a maximum storage capacity of 32 GB in my devices. With 32 GB I have plenty of room for apps (even those bigger than 1 GB, such as Infinity Blade 2), as well as a good supply of photos, music and a handful of HD movies. Considering that the entry-level iPad starts at $499, adding such a massive amount of storage and a cellular radio nearly doubles the price. I can't think of a competing tablet that offers 128 GB of storage, though some include support for microSD cards in addition to built-in storage.

What do you think? Is 128 GB a necessary option? Is it too much? Or is the pricing enough of a roadblock for people?

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