Erasing any doubt that Apple wants an iPad — preferably several — in every enterprise, the company today announced a version of its fourth generation iPad with 128 GB of onboard storage, double the capacity of the former, 64 GB top-of-the-line iPad.
Sporting the company’s high resolution Retina display technology, the 128 GB iPad goes on sale on Tuesday, February 5th. Prices start at $799 for the Wi-Fi only model. The Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad will go for $929, undercutting Microsoft’s soon to be released Surface Pro with the same amount of storage by $70.
With 128 GB of storage, the new iPad is ready for big business files, according to Apple — not that the tablet hasn’t already made enterprise inroads.
“iPad 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,” reminded Apple in a statement.
Now, there’s a tablet from Apple that can comfortably accommodate files that would otherwise overwhelm the company’s lower-capacity offerings. “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,” said the company.
Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products for Autodesk, explored the impact of a tablet that has enough storage headroom to handle the file sizes that her company’s design software produces. “These files are often large and highly detailed so having the thin and light iPad with its Multitouch display, integrated camera and all-day battery life, is a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data,” she said.
The storage boost not only helps Apple gain some enterprise cred, it potentially halts any momentum that Microsoft stands to gain by releasing its 128 GB Surface Pro tablet, which runs the full version of Windows 8, on Saturday, February 9th.
The move also gives consumers and IT buyers another reason to pick a tablet over a PC.
In a not-so-subtle dig at Apple’s rivals, the Cupertino company’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller, said, “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.”
It doesn’t hurt that Apple holds the keys to an enormous app ecosystem. “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,” added Schiller.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.