The 128GB iPad has gone on sale, but can Apple convince people to pay notebook prices for a tablet?
The high-capacity iPad has gone on sale for $799 for the Wi-Fi only model, and $929 for the cellular-equipped model. Both models are showing as being available in 1 to 3 business days.
According to a company press release, Apple is hoping that the new high-capacity model will appeal to enterprises, educators, artists, and other professionals who need the additional capacity for capacity-consuming content, not limited such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, blueprints, videos, and service manuals.
But Apple has attached a significant dollar value to owning such a high-capacity tablet.
For example, compare it to the 11-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB solid-state drive, which costs only $1,099. Here you are getting a complete notebook for only $400 premium over the Wi-Fi only iPad.
So, Apple has delivered a high-capacity, premium-priced iPad. Now all that remains to be seen is whether the right people can be tempted to part with their money in exchange for the extra capacity.
While there's no doubt that the extra storage will come in useful to those who find 64GB restrictive, Apple is making buyers pay over the odds for the capacity. At current NAND prices, 128GB costs approximately $80, but Apple charges a whopping $300 compared to the base 16GB model, which means an additional $220 in revenue per sale.
Compare this to cloud storage, which is relatively cheap, and thanks to high-speed data connections, data stored in the cloud can feel as though it is stored locally on the device.
The question, as always, comes down to weighing up price verses the gain. I'd personally love a 128GB iPad, because with that sort of storage I could worry far less about storage space. That said, at $929 for the cellular model, the price tag is far too steep for me as an end consumer. However, if I could make that additional 64GB work for me, and ultimately pay for itself in some way, I wouldn't hesitate in throwing down the cash.
There's no right or wrong; just what works for people and what doesn't.