One of Apple's apparent motivations for its newly-announced 128GB iPad is to attract more business buyers who will use the device for serious work tasks. Will merely doubling the memory lead to a new sales surge?
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Apple itself is certainly pushing that angle hard. Its announcement press release spends several paragraphs outlining possible business uses after this opening gambit:
iPad continues to have a significant impact on business with virtually all of the Fortune 500 and over 85 percent of the Global 500 currently deploying or testing iPad. Companies regularly utilizing large amounts of data such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, project blueprints, training videos and service manuals all benefit from having a greater choice of storage options for iPad.
The smaller memory footprint (and Apple's hard-to-browse file system) obviously hasn't stopped iPads selling in large quantities to professional users. However, research to date suggests that we're not using them for very sophisticated tasks: checking email and browsing still predominate. Paying $1000 for a device to do that doesn't seem like a particularly sensible investment. It's especially questionable in a cloud-centric environment: if documents aren't being stored on the device except temporarily, who needs all that memory?
One possible advantage for Apple in Australia: we still don't have a local release date for the Surface Pro, which is potentially far more disruptive for business users. I'd much rather run native Windows apps on a tablet than have to route them through a virtualised environment. That said, from a security point of view, the latter might be preferable.
I'm sure Apple will sell plenty of 128GB iPads, despite the relatively high price tag. However, whether those buyers will be doing so for business reasons remains to be seen. What do you think?