What You Need To Know About The New 4th Generation iPad

Sure, today's mostly about the iPad Mini, but Apple just announced a new fourth-generation full-sized iPad. It's a lot the same, but some key things have changed. Here's everything you'll want to know about it.

The tablet has a new A6X chip, which Apple claims runs twice as fas on both CPU and GPU functions. That's pretty standard by now for Apple, which sees performance gains in that range every generation, but it's just six months after the last go-round, so it's sort of impressive. The screen is the same 9.7-inch 264ppi display.

The new iPad also has a Lightning connector, replacing the old 30-pin connector, which presumably saves some size in the body, but there are no dimension changes to report. Fingers crossed that that means Apple just went ahead and crammed some extra battery into it.

It fits into the regular iPad pricing scheme, starting at $539 in Australia, and an LTE model starting from $679. Unlike previous versions of the iPad, which were not compatible with Australian 4G networks, the 4th-gen iPad and iPad Mini is understood to come with 4G functionality. [Apple]

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    The Australian Apple Store page says this iPad is not compatible with Australian LTE networks. This page: http://apple.com/iPad/LTE says that it is. I'd live some clarification.

    Is that aus lte frequencies?

    Apple are rapidly becoming a joke - I'm a fan-boy but it irks me to hear about the iPad 4 being released only 7 months since the iPad 3 was just because of a pin change (& the A6 chip). The mini pricing is also steep & I'm sure Jobs would be turning in his grave at the sight of it.

      I agree with Daniel. the rapid change in the specs has now meant the ipad i shelled out for is slightly out of step and very, very early.

        Would you guys like a frilly little handkerchief to wipe away those tears?

        Seriously? So you buy these things for bragging rights over having the latest hardware, and get pissed when a company updates their offerings too quickly? No wonder Fanbois have a reputation

        Did you like it last month?

        Because its still the same product that was out there a month ago.

      It wouldn't make sense for them to have one product left with 30 pin. the A6 and better LTE support make sense because those chips now exist. If they did nothing except lightning, everyone would be "apple are just shills trying to get us to buy things with new ports". Think positively about it. You now have at least another 6 months before another iPad event where there could be some significant revisions. Your current iPad is no less functional.

      Whilst I agree that the iPad Mini could be a little cheaper, I don't see why Apple should have to wait 12 months between hardware changes. The third generation iPad won't drop too much in value, in terms of resale value.

    I don't understand why it is impressive that they managed a new chip in 6 months. It was obviously build when the iPad 3 was released and they didn't want to put it in so they could sell the iPad 4.

    Oh well another upgrade for the drones. At least the iPhone 5 for me was a step up with better reception

    So does this mean there will be discounts on the old 'new' ipad, the one that works with all the current docks.

    And I just bought two iPad 3 like two weeks ago. Ah well. Hopefully the wife won't realise there is a difference next week when I give it to her for her birthday. At least all the connectors and chargers will work with it. I couldn't imagine having to buy 5 new chargers so there are spares everywhere.

      If you go back to the Apple store, you may be able to return it and get the new one instead. Some stores are offering a 30 day return window for those who just bought the 3.

    What a joke - Apple is directionless without Steve Jobs. iPad3 discontinued within 6 months is just crazy.

    I think we'll also start to see smaller 6 month upgrades from Apple, rather than the yearly thing we've been used to. Very annoying and leaves most of us now unable to keep up.

    It's a spec bump people. That's what they've done with computers for ages. Good lord, if it really hurts you that much to have a spec bump happen 6 months after you buy something, you've got problems.

    Oh no! I just bought a car and now they've brought out a slightly improved model! WAAAAAAAAAA

      A spec bump, plus a non-obselete connector. It would have been crazy for apple to say "We're going to make you keep buying ipads with a connector we've dropped on everything else in out line up and are never going to use again."

      It's all about managing expectations.. this is something I've been noticing a lot lately in the tech space. Companies are failing to manage consumer expectations.. not just Apple and not just hardware but in software too. Hype and marketing is one thing but if you set a specific timetable for things, like iPad's being released in March, iPhones being released in August and so on, then you go and change the rules.. you're asking people to change their expectations.

      Whether or not the new iPad is a simple spec bump, which it is, the expectation was there that the next iPad wouldn't come out till early 2013.. not the same year that they already released the last one. They clearly were working on the 4th Gen iPad within weeks of the 3rd Gen being released. It's not something you can do in a month or two before release.

      If this were a company, where one expected a spec bump every 3 to 6 months like Asus or Samsung.. then the expectations wouldn't need to change because it's normal. So yes, your point about it being something "they've" done for years is true but not in all markets. It will take some time for consumers to adjust to the new timetable if this is going to become the norm and as such, we might see that the 4th Gen has slow sales to start with as a result of consumer insecurity.

      Last edited 24/10/12 9:28 am

    Apple really have lost their way. Where's the innovation?

      Well, historically Apple innovates about once every 10-15 years, refines for a few years and drifts close to irrelevance for the last few, so due in about 5 years I'd say.

    My parents' bought me a new iPad last week. Apple aren't doing one of their return-and-trade-up deals are they? Do they even do that any more? They used to with Macs.

    No point of spec bump when you can't tell the difference in the real life application, not to mention that the 4th generation iPad has the new lightning connection...that do not have the dock yet. I think what Apple trying to do is trying to move everyone to the new lightning connector, that's why they release so many new products so the partners can create new accessories for them.

    The fanboys were the ones who created this incremental release model, not Apple. If they weren't all too happy to pick up the latest model with paltry, incremental advances then this would not be happening. Apple would be forced to do significant design improvements, rather than rely on its name to carry the success of its products.

    I love how people are complaining about Apple losing its vision and direction because they've brought out newer, better products.

    Apple decided to standardize the lightning connector and chucked in the A6 for the hell of it. If you have a 3rd Gen iPad there is no reason to update and there is no reason to feel bad.

    I have a 2nd Gen iPad and I don't see the need to get a 4th gen.

    If Dell sell a laptop with an i5 processor, and 6 months later they offer it with an i7, does anybody care?

    I love how people are complaining about an upgrade after only 6 months, did you ever notice how rapidly the android devices upgrade, i cant even keep up with what is the latest. Just because its new doesn't mean you have to go out and buy it.

    This is missing the fact that the new ipad has HD front facing camera, it is disgusting that it wasn't in the ipad 3. Pretty much every phone over $100 has an HD front facing camera yet apple went with VGA in their flagship iPad and now add it 7 months later. Yes i own an iPad 3 and it infuriates me when I facetime. It's like smearing Vaseline on an the front of a canon 7D with top lens. Unethical cash grab

    I think it's funny that people can't see beyond the current & next product. Apple's (and most others) release strategy have been the same for years. Upgrade every 2nd/3rd release or donate to the coffers every year. Stop whining about it FFS. That's how they make money and how we get nice toys.. err, business equipment.

    I understand that some people may think that it's no big deal for current iPad 3 owners, and right now that's true. But you have to think that at the next release, within 1 year you are now two versions away - and Apple's track record in its OS and software area has been to not care too much about what's two versions away - this means they're ditching a user base that's only a year old (as opposed to two years in previous releases).

    Think about it - all those iPad retina apps, you're paying for less capability when you buy it on a iPad 1-2. Not so much of a problem 6 months ago due to the limited retina apps, but today if you're a developer that's not releasing a retina version of your app you're at risk of being overlooked. So now you have an app store with retina apps, and your iPad 1-2 owners will feel left out. I know that this isn't a revolutionary change, but if these changes are big enough, a one year difference suddenly becomes significant. Not to mention that the resale value of your iPad 3 just dropped now that it will be two versions old when the next one is released.

    If you're happy with your toy, stick with it, but be prepared to be left behind as the developers roll on.

    Two questions I haven't seen asked or really noted anyway - when is it available for pre-ordering and when it is then released into stores? Just been given a massive JB voucher for my birthday and want to see how long I'll have to wait before this puppy is mine!

    this does piss me off.

    i only got an ipad this year and i only got it because i couldnt buy a surface yet.

    i was intending to sell my ipad 3 and use the money to get a surface, the value of my ipad 3 will have now dropped significantly more than i would expect for an apple product.
    i dont like apple but at least you could be sure that you had a pretty resellable product for the better part of a year. which is now not the case

    I have a first gen IPad. I was an early adopter. I've used it continuously since I got it
    and will now get the 4 gen iPad this year. I will pass on my old one to my partner, who only
    wants it for basic operations. I have got my use out of the old and even got a tax break with it,
    so I have no problem getting a new one. I was planning on getting the gen 3 anyway, so it
    was fortuitious for me the new announcement came when it did. This happens with technology
    all the time, so I have, as it is said, "managed my expectations" and I never have regrets on a purchase, except for LCD TV's which I think are not very good yet.

    I'm really confused. I'm thinking of buying ipad 4 wifi can I use my Telstra 4g wireless with it?

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