Apple ditches iPad 2, brings back iPad 4 with Retina display

Apple refreshes its entry-level line up and removes the last device with its old 30-pin connector.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple has refreshed its entry-level devices today, introducing an 8GB iPhone 5c and reintroducing the iPad 4.

The 9.7-inch Retina display iPad 4, once again for sale on Apple's website, becomes the company's new entry-level larger tablet, and will only be available with 16GB memory in either black or white.

The fourth-generation iPad replaces the older iPad 2, the last remaining device that relied on Apple's old 30-pin connector. Its iPad 4 successor has the more compact Lightning connector, in line with the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini Retina.

In the UK, the wi-fi only version of the Retina iPad 4 costs £329 while the LTE version costs £429, putting it nearly on par with the the iPad mini Retina. The smaller slab costs £319 and £429 respectively for the 16GB wi-fi and wi-fi plus cellular versions.

The iPad 4 comes with Apple's dual-core A6X chip and a five-megapixel camera. At 652g in weight, it's just under 200g heavier than the iPad Air, which starts at £399 for the wi-fi only 16GB model or £429 with mobile connectivity.

Unlike the 8GB iPhone 5c, the iPad 4 replacement appears to be rolling out globally. US prices for the 16GB fourth generation iPad start at $399 for the wi-fi only version and $529 for the cellular model.

The additional 8GB memory iPhone 5C has launched in some European markets, including the UK, Germany and France, as well as Australia, but not the US.

Apple launched the iPad 4 in 2012 alongside the first iPad mini, while the iPad 2, considered an incremental update to the first iPad, arrived in 2011.

In 2013, Apple held onto its position as the largest vendor of tablets globally, selling around 70 million iPads last year — up nine million on the year prior.

However, Android vendors have quickly caught up. Android based tablets accounted for 61 percent of all tablets sold last year, compared with iOS, which fell from 52 percent to 36 percent of the total in 2013, according to analyst firm Gartner. The second largest vendor of tablets, Samsung, sold 37 million tablets last year.

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