Apple's New iPad Is Good for Business

As Microsoft readies the much-anticipated Surface Pro, Apple blows it a kiss with a 128GB iPad.

Just the other day, I checked storage on my 32GB iPad and found that I was nearing capacity. To get some headroom, I deleted the Star Trek HD movie and a few back issues of National Geographic and The New Yorker, as well as a bunch of apps and songs. I also noticed that my Pages app was growing rather quickly, in terms of storage space.

And then I decided that my next iPad would be bigger. After all, I'll need the space to rent and download movies in case I'm jumping on a plane. I'll also have higher space requirements as I continue to use my iPad for work purposes.

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Lo' and behold, Apple announced the 128GB iPad with Retina display this week, available starting on February 5. Please, no maxi pad jokes. The high-storage iPad will retail for $799 (WiFi-only version) and $929 (WiFi-plus-cellular).

This is one of the first Apple announcements that didn't have a rumor-fueled run-up. There was no media event, no trumpets, no fanfare for the latest upgrade to the flagship iPad product line. Just a press release. Welcome to the new Apple, folks.

It's an Apple that lacks magic but makes sound business decisions – and the 128GB iPad is a good one. Despite so much promise around cloud storage, local storage on tablets matters, especially among employees who bring their iPads to work.

Apple claims all of the Fortune 500 and 85 percent of the Global 500 are currently deploying or testing iPads. Many of these companies are in data-intensive industries, working with 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits and so forth. It makes sense for Apple to deliver a 128GB iPad as an enterprise play.

The timing of the 128GB iPad is pretty smart, too.

There are very few coincidences when big companies bring marquee products to major markets. Apple's February 5 availability date for the 128GB iPad is four days earlier than Microsoft's availability date for the long-awaited Surface Pro, which starts out at $899 for a 64GB WiFi-only model.

Not only does the 128GB iPad beat the 64GB Surface Pro on date, price and storage capacity, the Apple announcement takes some of the wind out of Microsoft's sails.

Apple under CEO Tim Cook may not have the Jobs-like magic with products – after all, the 128GB iPad is just the same iPad with more storage – the in-your-face business tactics are just as impressive.

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