The Big One

Well, it finally happened. Apple released their first iOS device with 128GB of storage – exclusively on the big iPad and for a $100 premium over the 64GB model. Some might dismiss this as chasing the spec with the Surface Pro – and the new higher price point instead of replacing/moving the models around would seem to support that. I offer a different opinion.

With rumors of Apple’s low cost iPhone more credible than ever before, Apple may be gearing up to add some differentiating across the lines. For now, 128GB is available exclusively on the big iPad with retina display. It gives it something to help set itself apart from the iPad mini with retina display we know will be here at some point which will continue to top out at 64GB.

For now, a few questions remain. Does Apple remove the 16GB option? Do they remove it and shift prices down or do they just remove it completely like the iPod touch? I’m not sure Apple would raise prices. They could also retain the 16GB option, but omit either the 32 or 64GB option (but still have $100 intervals on whatever is left). I think the best way to answer this is to examine the fate of the iPad 2. We “know” the retina iPad is getting a IGZO slimming and black and slate treatment sometime this year. Maybe the non-retina iPad will receive the same treatment, acquire a decent camera and lightning, but stick with the A5.

$399 – 16GB iPad 2 / “new” iPad 2 like device
$499 – 32GB iPad with Retina Display
$599 – 64GB ”’
$699 – 128GB ”’

Basically what I’m saying is that if you buy a 128GB iPad “4” today you’re a sucker. It’ll probably be $100 cheaper in 3 months.


There’s one other “Big One” to talk about. I theorized this a while back but the Internet Famous have finally started talking about it. Since the iPad mini is an iPad with an iPhone screen, why not an iPhone Jumbo that’s an iPhone with an iPad screen? Same pixel count, a familiar pixel density, easy on the eyes.

Easy On The Eyes

When my iPhone using Aunt and Uncle (and my dumbphone using Mother and Father) heard that the iPhone 5 was 4″ instead of 3.5″, they thought everything was going to be bigger and were disappointed when I explained it was just vertical space so you got more lines of text. Owners of big iPads, they were all similarly unimpressed when I showed them the iPad mini (or my 11″ MacBook Air for that matter). I may be blessed/cursed with 20/10 vision, but the tech generation is getting older and I think a “bigger” (read: more readable) iPhone would be welcome to anyone who isn’t too stubborn to buy it.

I wonder if this device and the “low cost” (as I theorized: off-contract device) are one in the same. A $399 A5 based phone with “better” but not “best” cameras and specs but available without a subsidy. Nothing stops carriers from offering this as a free phone either. Perhaps analysts had it all backwards. Instead of making something smaller to make it cheaper (remember, an iPhone 5 really costs $649), exploit the whole miniaturization as a premium thing and make a big inexpensive thing.

One thing to consider is that this device might have a different outer shape despite having the “same” 16:9 screen. The Home Button and speaker don’t need to scale up so the outer shell might be less tall compared to wide and despite having the 16:9 display, looking more like a giant iPhone 4 from the back rather than a giant iPhone 5.

Since I believe the non retina original iPad mini at a new lower price point (once we have a retina iPad mini, that is) replaces the iPod Touch as the gateway device for those who are iCurious, the Touch can focus more on the highschool and younger crowd and retain its existing child friendly size.