Ap­ple dou­bles me­mory on its lat­est ipad

Tablet maker faces stiff com­pe­ti­tion

Ottawa Citizen - - BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY - LISA RA­PA­PORT AND SCOTT MORITZ

NEW YORK • Ap­ple Inc. de­buted an iPad with twice the me­mory of older models, of­fer­ing users more space to store movies, videos and books amid mount­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the tablet mar­ket.

The new iPad with 128 gi­ga­bytes of stor­age will be avail­able start­ing Feb. 5 priced at $799 US for a Wi-Fi ver­sion and $929 for a de­vice that also of­fers a cel­lu­lar con­nec­tion, Cu­per­tino, Calif.-based Ap­ple said Tues­day.

Ap­ple bol­stered its prod­uct lineup in Oc­to­ber with the iPad mini, priced from $329 to $659, and a fourth­gen­er­a­tion iPad that costs $499 to $829, de­pend­ing on the features. The lat­est iPad model comes as Ap­ple works to fend off chal­lengers from Google Inc. and Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co. in the mar­ket for tablets, which NPD Dis­playSearch has es­ti­mated will more than dou­ble to $162 bil­lion by 2017.

“The tablet mar­ket is ex­pand­ing, and Ap­ple sees a mar­ket op­por­tu­nity, not just at the low end but also in the high end with heavy me­dia con­sumers,” Tavis McCourt, an an­a­lyst at Ray­mond James & As­so­ci­ates, said in an in­ter­view.

Ear­lier this month, Ap­ple posted the slow­est profit growth since 2003 and the weak­est sales in­crease in 14 quar­ters, fu­elling con­cern about Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook’s abil­ity to keep pro­duc­ing hit prod­ucts more than a year af­ter the death of co­founder Steve Jobs.

“With more than 120 mil­lion iPads sold, it’s clear that cus­tomers around the world love their iPads, and ev­ery day they are find­ing more great rea­sons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs,” said Philip Schiller, Ap­ple’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, in the state­ment.

Ap­ple said the added me­mory will be es­pe­cially use­ful to busi­nesses that use heavy amounts of data and need more stor­age ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The iPad is used for stor­ing project blue­prints, train­ing videos, ser­vice man­u­als, Xrays and other data-heavy files. Nearly all For­tune 500 com­pa­nies are us­ing the iPad, Ap­ple said.

The more ex­pen­sive iPad model fol­lows the same strat­egy Ap­ple em­ployed when its Mac com­put­ers were chal­lenged by lower-priced ri­vals, McCourt said.

“This is Ap­ple logic,” he said. “When cheap net­books were pop­u­lar and tak­ing over, Ap­ple up­graded, re­branded, and raised the price of their Mac­Books.”

Ap­ple could ap­ply this same high-end strat­egy to the iPhone with fu­ture models of the hand­set, McCourt said.

WAL­TER TY­CH­NOW­ICZ/POST­MEDIA NEWS

Ap­ple Inc. is now of­fer­ing an iPad with twice the me­mory of older models such as this one shown, giv­ing users more space to store movies and mu­sic.

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