The old iPad 2 has reached the end of the road, three years its March 2011 launch, but its void is going to be filled by the more recent but not the latest iPad 4. Interestingly, this will be akin to a re-launch of the iPad 4, which was launched in November 2012 before being replaced by the latest iPad Air in October 2013. According to Apple, the iPad 4 will serve as the new entry level iPad even though choice will be limited to the 16 GB model. Buyers can still choose from a wifi-only version priced at $399, and the LTE version will cost $529.
This is good news for users who want a cheaper full-sized iPad as it offers much better specs compared to iPad 2. The retina display offers more vivid and sharp images compared to iPad 2. Powering the device is a dual core Apple A6X chip rated at 1.4 Ghz and offers 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, compared to iPad 2’s 1 GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip mated to a 512 MB RAM. There is a much better 5 megapixel camera at the rear, capable of 1080p video recording.
Apple has seen demand for its iPad slump below Android recently, even though the Apple tablet continues to be the single largest tablet brand even four years after its launch. However, whether measures like these really help remains to be seen; an even cheaper model–at around say $300–could have helped build demand even more. In a related development, Apple has announced a cheaper 8 GB variant of the iPhone 5c to help spur sales in the low-end segment.