Apple has announced plans to sell an updated version of its popular iPad tablet computer, one with 128 gigabytes of storage capacity or more than twice as much as its current largest version.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology company made the announcement Tuesday. The device appears to have few changes to the current well-received iPad 4 model beyond the extra storage capacity for more music, movies, books and apps.
As with most Apple products, the device will come in two versions — a cheaper model that functions only with Wi-Fi, and another version capable of running over 3G and 4G cellular networks. The former will retail for $799 US. The latter, $929 US. Each will be available starting Feb. 5, 2013.
Apple typically launches a new product from its development cycle roughly once every 10-15 months, so the revamp of the existing model only 3 months after its initial launch in October could be a sign the company has no plans to offer a more substantive upgrade, possibly an iPad 5, until late 2013 or into 2014.
It could also be Apple's attempt to draw some attention from rival Research in Motion Ltd., which has consumed the technology news cycle this week in anticipation of the launch of their next line of smartphones, BlackBerry 10, which will be unveiled on Wednesday.
After a strong 2012 that saw the company post outsized stock market gains to become the world's largest publicly traded company, Apple recently lost that title to Exxon as doubts emerged about the company's ability to maintain its dominant market share and fat profit margins.
After peaking at more than $700 a share in September, Apple stock has given up ground and currently trades at $455 on the Nasdaq.