Apple killed off its iPad 2 tablet Tuesday, making the iPad 4 with a Retina display the company's most affordable full-size 9.7-inch base model.
The move to retire the iPad 2, introduced in 2011, coincides with the reintroduction of the iPad 4, which was dropped last year when Apple unveiled the iPad Air. The iPad 4 has twice the pixel density as the iPad 2 with a 2,048 x 1,536 display and has a 1.4GHz A6X processor and 1 GB of RAM.
Apple, Cupertino, Calif., said in a statement that the iPad 4 offers a "dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces."
The introductory price of the iPad 4 with 16 GB of storage and Wi-Fi support is $400. Add 4G LTE support and the iPad 4's price jumps to $530.
In related iPad news, Reuters is reporting that Microsoft will unveil Office for iPad March 27. According to the Reuters report, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will reveal availability of Office for iPad at a San Francisco press event. It's speculated that Microsoft will model Office for iPad after the iPhone version and require an Office 365 subscription.
The move comes as Android tablets accounted for 61.9 percent of sales in 2013, compared with 36 percent for Apple, according to research firm Gartner. Tablets running the Windows 8 operating system designed for mobile devices represented 2.1 percent of tablet market share in 2013.
PUBLISHED MARCH 18, 2014