Apple’s new 128GB iPad is not just a Surface-killer, it looks like it has designs on the lower end PC market as well.
It’s not often that products come relatively unheralded out of Cupertino nowadays, but the new, 128GB version of the fourth-gen iPad that Apple just released is probably as close to a stealth product as the company gets. It’s an impressive beast as well, doubling storage space over the previous top-line model for a relatively meagre $100 and retailing at $799.
This puts it head to head with the also newly released Surface Pro from Microsoft on storage spec, but unusually for Apple it does so at a pricepoint $200 less than the 128GB Microsoft machine. And Surface Pro’s new owners will also have to shell out for a keyboard for the unit, bumping its total cost to well over the $1000 mark.
Taking aim at the PC market
It looks like a classic spoiler operation (though ordering the snowstorm that led to the cancellation of the Surface launch event in NYC is probably beyond even Apple’s PR operation), but interestingly analysts reckon there could be something a bit deeper going on, namely the potential for the tablet to knock out the lower end of the PC market all together. PC sales have, in effect, been fairly moribund since 2010, with growth pegged at about 2% a year (it was 10% previously). And 2010, of course, is when the tablet market started, a market which has grown from 0 units globally to 120m in the same period.
Latest projections are that this will be up to 370m or thereabout in 2015, with Apple in the lead, closely followed by Android and then Microsoft some way behind. Now add in the fact that figures strongly suggest that Apple desktop sales are actually in decline, and it’s not hard to see where the company may currently be concentrating its efforts. Indeed, with the iPad 128GB at only $200 less than the entry level MacBook Air, it doesn’t even seem afraid of providing itself with its own stiff competition.