This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2014-03-19 at 7:06 a.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/14598
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Farewell iPad 2; Welcome Back, iPad 4

by Josh Centers

After a three-year run, Apple has laid the iPad 2 to rest, replacing it with the resurrected fourth-generation iPad [1], now called the “iPad with Retina display” on the Apple Store. The fourth-generation iPad will serve as the entry-level model, priced at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the LTE variant. (The original iPad mini also remains available, with a 16 GB Wi-Fi model for $299 and an LTE model for $429.) This lineup change also marks the end of the 30-pin dock connector, which has now been entirely replaced by the Lightning connector, introduced in September 2012.

[image link] [2]

We were perplexed when Apple dropped the fourth-generation iPad but kept the iPad 2 around back in October (see “Apple Announces iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display [3],” 22 October 2013). Why did Apple flip the lineup this late in the game? Our best guess is that Apple wanted to replace the iPad 2 sooner, but couldn’t bring the fourth-generation iPad down to the $399 price point while retaining a decent profit margin.

So, if you’ve been holding out for an iPad upgrade, should you save money by picking up a fourth-generation model? I wouldn’t. The iPad mini with Retina display is much smaller and 0.76 pounds (345 grams) lighter, has a faster A7 processor, and is the same price. If you want a larger screen and can afford an extra $100, the iPad Air is an improvement over the fourth-generation iPad in every way. It’s 0.71 inches (1.8 cm) narrower and 0.44 pounds (200 grams) lighter, features a better screen, and has the faster A7 processor.

In other news, Apple has introduced an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c to its European stores [4], which retails for £429.00 (about US$711). It’s still not exactly the budget iPhone some analysts were hoping for and only £40 ($66) less than the 16 GB model.

[1]: https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/03/18Apple-Updates-Most-Affordable-9-7-inch-iPad-with-Retina-display-Improved-Cameras-Enhanced-Performance-Now-Available-Starting-at-399.html
[2]: http://tidbits.com/resources/2014-03/iPad-lineup.png
[3]: http://tidbits.com/article/14212
[4]: http://store.apple.com/uk/buy-iphone/iphone5c