Apple Resurrects The iPad 4, Retires The iPad 2, Launches 8GB iPhone 5c
This morning, Apple made a couple of new additions to its iOS lineup, where “new” in this case actually means “old stuff that is nevertheless better than what it is replacing.” It has finally removed the iPad 2 from its lineup and replaced it with 2012’s fourth-generation iPad. For its second coming, the iPad 4 will set you back $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version of $529 for a cellular version. And, as expected, there’s also a new 8GB iPhone 5c, which, as of this post, is only available in certain territories.
The iPad 2 first became the $399 entry-level iPad in January of 2012 when the third-generation iPad was introduced, and it maintained that position through the introduction of the fourth-generation iPad that October and the iPad Air in October of 2013. It was Apple’s last remaining iPad that still used the old 30-pin connector, and its retirement leaves the $299 iPad mini as the last non-Retina device in the lineup.
The iPad 4 offers a substantial upgrade over its predecessor, looking essentially the same but adding a Retina display, a Lighting port, just a little more weight, and an Apple A6X processor with about twice the CPU performance and four times the GPU performance of the A5 in the iPad 2.
For most consumers, your best bet would be to step up to the iPad Air. A 16GB iPad Air only costs 20% more than a 16GB iPad 4, but it can offer as much as 200% higher performance depending on what you’re using it for. It also features a streamlined profile and is substantially lighter. If you wouldn’t mind the Retina iPad Mini’s smaller screen, that tablet costs the same amount but is newer and faster than the iPad 4.
As for the iPhone 5c, capacity aside, it’s identical to the existing models. In the territories where it’s being sold, it fills a small price gap between the iPhone 4S and the 16GB iPhone 5c.
We don’t yet know exactly which territories will get the 8GB model, but it shows up in Apple’s online stores in many European countries, Austrailia, and China, while it’s unavailable in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. It’s not clear whether it will be introduced in the U.S., but if it is, it will likely cost around $49 with a two-year contract or $500 without one.
I can’t honestly recommend that anyone buy an 8GB iOS device in this day and age, but I also can’t fault Apple for trying to fill price gaps in its lineup.