Apple May Have Signaled the End of the 16GB iPad

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Apple has quietly made an announcement that could have far-reaching repercussions: the iPad Air 2 may be the last tablet from Apple with 16GB of storage.

Apple iPad Air 2

Apple iPad Air 2

The company didn’t announce that directly. What it did instead was increase the size of the largest iOS apps permitted on the App Store from 2GB to 4GB.

The reason for this move is clear: Apple has been advertising the iPad as a serious productivity tool, and that requires powerful software… the kind of applications that aren’t small.

At the same time, gaming on tablets has begun to rival consoles. Graphics-intensive games are always quite large, surely contributing to Apple’s move to increase the size of permissible apps.

Go Big or Go Home

With iOS apps now permitted to be 4GB, it’s obvious that an iPad with only 16GB of storage is going to be completely inadequate. The iOS operating system takes up about 4GB of the built-in storage, leaving room for – in a worst-case scenario – just three apps.

Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that Apple won’t release another 16GB model, but it does mean that consumers should be very cautious about buying it. Given this change, a tablet with more much storage makes more sense.

With the iPad Air 2, Apple discontinued the 32GB version, instead offering a model with 64GB of storage for the price it used to offer the 32GB one. With its next model, Apple should continue this trend, offering the 64GB version for the price it once offered the 16GB one.

It would be a radical move, but that’s something Apple used to be known for: most people may have forgotten, but the $499 price for the original iPad 16GB was well below the typical cost of a tablet back in 2010. It’s time for Apple to shake the tablet market up again.

And giving up the 16GB iPad would certainly do that.

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