Yesterday Apple announced that they'll release a 128GB version of the iPad. (This is not a next generation iPad, rather, it's the same one they're currently selling with an option for 128GB.)
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Many are claiming this is something that Apple is doing specifically to target Microsoft's Surface tablet with an x86 processor running "real" Windows 8 Pro. The timing of Apple's announcement seems to corroborate that—Apple will ship the 128GB iPad on February 5th, just a few days before Microsoft ships the Surface with Windows 8 Pro. And the other bloggers do have a point that Apple's press release focuses exclusively on business use cases for 128GB.
So even if there's some truth to Apple aiming at Microsoft, you have to wonder: is a 128GB iPad really a threat to the Surface?
The answer is simple. NO!
Many people, myself included, are really looking forward to an x86-based Surface. While I have repeatedly panned the ARM-based Surface (and Windows RT in general), the Surface Pro is aimed for a completely different segment. Since it's based on an x86, it can run all existing Windows-based desktop applications. So if that's your requirement, then no, the 128GB iPad is not a threat since it can't run those apps. And if you want a Surface tablet but don't have the need to run traditional Windows desktop applications, wouldn't you just buy the cheaper, thinner, lighter, longer lasting ARM-based Surface running Windows RT?
So in this case I'm absolutely supporting Microsoft by saying that no, the 128GB iPad is not a threat to the Surface tablet.