The long-running iPad 2 is taking its curtain call. Apple has quietly retired the device, which launched in 2011, resurrecting another iPad model in the process. The fourth-generation iPad (going by the iPad with Retina display moniker on Apple’s site) will take up its mantle at the $399 price point for a 16GB model.
The shift is significant for several reasons. For starters, it marks the end of the 30-pin dock connector’s run in Apple’s lineup of tablets. All existing iPad models now on sale feature Apple’s new Lightning connector. The decision to relaunch the iPad 4 also leaves the original iPad mini as the only model to not offer a Retina display.
Priced at $399 — the same price as the iPad mini with Retina display — the iPad 4 will only be available with 16GB of storage. A cellular-enabled version of the device is also available for $529.
Despite its age, the iPad 2 had remained in Apple’s tablet stable as a low-cost alternative to new models like the iPad Air. Part of the reason for the long run was the tablet’s popularity with schools and businesses as well as the ubiquitous nature of the 30-pin connector. The iPad 4 was introduced a year later with sales originally discontinued in 2013.
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