In 2012, Apple (NASDAQ:
) created a vicious cycle when it decided to release the
fourth-generation iPad roughly seven months after the
third-generation model arrived at retail.
The decision surprised many tech enthusiasts, but it was
. Without the iPad 4, Apple would have had to rearrange its
product lineup for 2013. Before the iPad Mini was unveiled, many
expected the iPad 4 to be released in the spring of 2013. If
Apple jumped ahead and released it in November 2012, the company
could feasibly sit tight for a while and release the iPad 5 and
iPad Mini 2 in November 2013.
However, if Apple had only released the iPad Mini last fall,
it would have likely upgraded the 10-inch model in the spring.
This could have divided its customers as they pondered the
contents and features of the next iPad, which would have been
right around the corner.
Thus, Apple did what it had to and released the iPad 4
prematurely to prevent other premature upgrades.
That was the thought, at least. It now seems that Apple may be
implementing another strategy. Instead of releasing sensible
upgrades at key times during the year (as it has with the
iPhone), Apple is determined to tweak the iPad as frequently as
The question now is whether or not this is an effective
strategy for the Mac maker to implement.
official press announcement
, Philip Schiller, Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, said
that the company has sold more than 120 million iPads worldwide.
Apple sold nearly 20 million of them in the last quarter
With an MSRP of $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $929 for the 4G
(cellular) edition, the tweaked iPad is anything but cheap. If
there were a few new features -- or even a longer-lasting battery
-- Apple may have been able to easily justify the price to some
Apple is not aiming to sell the 128GB model to consumers,
however. Its goal is to conquer the enterprise market -- the same
market that Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) is shooting for with the Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet. Both
items are due to ship next week.
Unlike Surface Windows 8 Pro, however, the 128GB iPad 4 does
not provide any bonuses beyond the increased storage space. It is
not on par with a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air, which cost more
but offer a plethora of additional benefits.
Surface Windows 8 Pro, which starts at $899 ($100 more than
the Wi-Fi-only iPad), is comparable to an actual laptop. It
contains the full version of Windows 8, an Intel (NASDAQ:
) Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a microSDXC card slot and one
USB 3.0 port, as well as a Mini DisplayPort.
None of these features can be found within the current iPad.
As an iOS device, it runs Apple's mobile operating system -- not
Regardless, some investors are bound to speculate that Apple
only chose to release the 128GB iPad to counter Microsoft's
efforts. Even if that is the case, it does not change the fact
that Apple is setting a new precedent for its device
Instead of waiting until the optimal time to release each
enhancement, Apple is perfectly content selling iPads that are
tweaked with some of the most minor upgrades the industry has
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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