Apple finally ditches non-Retina iPad 2, relaunches 16GB iPad 4 for $399

By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 18, 2014 07:10 AM EDT

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The once-popular iPad 2 has officially reached the end of its road, as Apple has decided to discontinue the older table and relaunch the 16GB iPad 4 instead.

Apple has apparently started to do some spring cleaning, reorganizing its lineup with some tweaks. First, the company made an effort to boost sales of its plastic iPhone 5C by launching a lower-capacity 8GB model, which is 10 percent cheaper than the existing version.

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When it comes to its iPad lineup, Apple finally made the move that was rumored for quite some time now, namely ditch the older iPad 2 in favor of newer models. The company has now replaced that model by relaunching the 16GB iPad 4. The iPad 2 has definitely had a good run, but its end of life (EOL) was expected considering that consumers are now more interested in newer models with Retina displays.

The 16GB iPad 4 that comes to replace the non-Retina iPad 2 comes with a $399 price tag in Apple's U.S. Online Store, while a cellular version of the tablet is available for $130 more, i.e. $529. Although Apple is still selling its older iPhone 4S alongside the new 8GB iPhone 5C, apparently things are different on the tablet front. On the other hand, it's understandable.

The iPhone 5C launched alongside the high-end iPhone 5s, and while the flagship saw great demand and good sales figures, the plastic smartphone didn't exactly fly off the shelves. Apple's move to launch an 8GB iPhone 5C is widely seen as an effort to boost lackluster sales, and the new model doesn't replace the iPhone 4S.

On the iPad front, however, the iPad 2 is considerably older, and its lack of a Retina display made it less than desirable to iFans. Apple's decision to ditch the iPad 2 and replace it with the 16GB iPad 4 comes as no big surprise.

Apple had removed the iPad 4 from its tablet lineup last October, making room for its latest iPad Air. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, anticipated back in February that Apple would ultimately decide to relaunch the iPad 4 to replace the iPad 2. The fourth-generation iPad comes with 1GB of RAM and an A6X processor, whereas the older iPad 2 had only 512MB of RAM and an A5 chip. The switch makes sense, but it remains to be seen whether the iPad 4 is still in demand.

Both the Wi-Fi-only and the Wi-Fi + Cellular models of the 16GB iPad 4 are now available for purchase from Apple's online store at this link, or through the company's retail stores. Interested buyers can choose between white or black color options. 



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