It’s official. Apple will be releasing a 128GB fourth generation iPad. Larger storage capacity iOS devices seem like they’re a tad overdue. The aging and feeling ever minuscule 16GB iPad strikes me as too little storage capacity by 2013 standards. Why? Because regular everyday people are now used to downloading tons of apps — many of which are games in the 500MB-1.5GB range. By the the time you’re finished installing your favourite apps, there isn’t much space left for music, TV shows, or movies.
Since Apple has made no mention that the 16GB iPad is going away, we can presume the 128GB model will usurp the 64GB models place as the largest in the line — which would leave us with a 32, 64, and 128GB lineup respectively. This is logical as flash storage prices keep getting pushed down every year as yields and tooling improve. Introducing another higher priced SKU wouldn’t make sense to me.
The question remains is who wants a 128GB iPad? I know people that do. They are the ones who download a lot of music, TV shows, and movies and tend to keep them on their device. The problem is exacerbated in iOS by practically non existent media management capability to the average person. My dad just the other day asked me how he could delete all of his music from his iPhone, which of course I had to explain to him that the easiest way was to sync wirelessly with iTunes (he later took my advice of signing up for iTunes Match).
Just improving storage capacity isn’t going to make people happier. We still need iCloud to support all the content you purchase. For example, if I open the Videos app on any iOS device, I’m greeted with a blank slate. Where are the TV shows and movies I’ve purchased? I’ve longed for a similar experience to iTunes Match. When I open the Music app, I can see every album and song that is available for download from iCloud. So why can’t I do this in the Videos app? It’s asinine that we still are expected to sync our devices with a Mac in order to transfer purchased TV shows and movies. Sure, I could go to the crappy iTunes web based app and search through past purchases to download them again, but that’s an exercise in frustration.
I’m confident plenty of people will buy the 128GB iPad. Everyone’s needs are different, however long term storage issues could be quelled by making iCloud available for TV shows and movies. Just in the same way that I mentioned previously with what iTunes Match has did for the music experience, this absolutely needs to be done for everything else. I hope we see this come to fruition at some point this year.