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How Apple Convinced Me Not to Buy a Bigger iPad



Today, Apple convinced me to give them $100 less than I wanted to.

It began last night when our editor Josh Smith and I had a Twitter conversation that made me think about changing my iPad preorder from the 32GB model to the 64GB.

As I said in our team post about why we picked the various models of the new iPad 3rd gen, I went with the 32GB model because my 64GB iPad 2 seldom filled up more than about 30GB of storage. Why pay the extra $100 for the 64GB when I’m not using it now? I could actually use less storage, but I don’t because I load it up knowing I have plenty of storage.

Ipad preorder

Then, Josh tweeted: “Beginning to think I should’ve gotten 64GB iPad.” I began to think I might have messed up too so I tweeted back.

My conversation with @Josh_Smith on Twitter

The higher resolution display means most apps that take advantage of the retina display’s 4X resolution will take up more space. Do the math. They doubled the resolution both horizontally and vertically, which equals four times the pixels.

To illustrate this, I took one of my vacation photos from last summer. I opened it in Photoshop and sized it to fit the exact resolution of the new iPad (2048×1536) and saved it in highest quality. It takes up 1.969MB as a JPG file on my hard drive. I then sized it to fit the current and first gen iPads (1024×768) and it only takes up .675MB or less than a third of the storage.

If you have an iPad and use some of Apple’s apps like iMovie, GarageBand and others, you know that Apple just updated them. They take up more storage with higher resolution art.

After doing these tests, I panicked and called Apple this morning to ask if I could change my pre-order from 32GB to 64GB. The nice rep on the other line said that all he could do was cancel the order and I’d have to get back in line. He said yesterday many people were still ordering and getting a March 16th ship date, now the new iPad pre-orders are sold out for March 16th delivery.

New iPad Now Available for Pre-Order at Radio Shack

Instead of trying to up-sell me on the more expensive model, he reminded me of something.

Video takes up more storage than apps. If you download a few HD movies to an iPad, one or two of those may take up more space than all of your apps combined. With iCloud you can now store your movies on Apple’s servers and download them only when you want them. That will take up much less space. Only those who often move outside Wi-Fi for long periods should worry about this. You don’t want to download a 1080p movie on 3G or 4G. It will destroy you monthly data allotment.

Similarly, music and apps are stored in iCloud. You don’t need to load up the iPad with them. Just stream the music as you want it.

I’ll keep only the movies, songs and apps I really use now that I have less storage. My day-to-day workflow won’t change.

I’m concerned about picture storage. I plan to use my iPad more for viewing and even editing photos with the high res screen and iPhoto. I’ll just use it for photo storage temporarily before offloading my shots to my Mac.

I’m sticking with the 32GB iPad and Apple will get less of my money than they might have.

It’s all because of some good customer-centered service.



  1. ol1bit

    03/09/2012 at 7:20 pm

    I never had an Apple Device, but The screen readability is really making me think about it…good points though

  2. Rzayas28

    03/10/2012 at 7:18 am

    Whatever you need to tell yourself so that you can sleep at night knowing that you messed up your order…

  3. Tim Salomon

    03/10/2012 at 1:36 pm

    think it is best for me to step down a little and get the iPad 2 for
    $399. I don’t need all the power of the new iPad 3. 16GB is enough
    for me. I am not planning to launch a spacecraft into space.

  4. Stocklone

    03/10/2012 at 6:45 pm

    You sure they weren’t just trying to keep you from being pissed off about losing your spot? If you are happy with your order, you don’t lose your spot.  I find it ridiculous that we are moving into streaming by just about everyone (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft) and the carriers are doing their best to turn bandwidth into gold.

    • TheRealCBONE

      03/11/2012 at 9:37 pm

      The conspiracy guy in me thinks that one hand is shaking the other. Let’s move to pushing and pulling everything to the cloud and make it duper expensive to actually use it when on-board storage and data transfer is faster than ever and should be nigh-infinite for staggeringly little cost…

  5. Bill Moore

    03/15/2012 at 1:49 am

    I haven’t pulled the trigger on the new iPad, not yet anyway. I’m still trying to justify the cost, not having entered the tablet market. Still, the 32GB seems the sweet spot, though I share Kevin’s initial concern about storage space due to apps and the new display.

    Apple gets you, it seems, with their pricing for the three different models, just as they do with the iPhone 4S, which I do have (32GB). Get the base 16GB model for $499, add 16GB for another $100, and add another 32GB for yet another $100. So a 16GB upgrade costs $100 and a 32GB upgrade over the middle version costs $100. I get the impression that Apple’s greatest profit margin is with the 32GB iPad.

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