Less than eight months after Apple launched the third generation iPad (called the "new iPad"), the company has confined that model to the history books by unveiling a fourth generation version. The new Apple iPad is identical in design to the previous model but has the new Lightning connector, an upgraded A6X processor and will work on Australian 4G networks.
The new iPad is best described as a slight refresh of the previous model. It features an identical physical design with the only difference being the connector. The new iPad uses the 8-pin Lightning connector instead of Apple's old 30-pin dock connector. The change means Apple's entire new range of portable devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad) use the new dock connector.
The new Apple iPad includes 4G connectivity that will now work in Australia on the 1800MHz LTE networks used by Telstra and Optus. Apple's previous third generation iPad was marketed as a 4G device but it didn't support the 1800MHz 4G network bands used in Australia.
The fourth generation iPad has an upgraded processor, now using an A6X chip. Apple claims it offers up to two times faster performance than the A5X chip in the previous iPad. Despite the new processor, the iPad has the same 10 hour battery life rating as the previous model.
The only other upgrade is the front-facing camera. It has jumped from VGA to 1.2-megapixels and now offers HD Facetime calls.
The fourth generation iPad will be available in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 4G models in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities. It will again be sold in both black and white variants.
The new iPad will be available to pre-order in Australia from Friday 26 October. It will go sale Down Under on Friday 2 November.
Australian pricing for the fourth generation iPad is the same as the previous model, as follows:
iPad mini 16GB Wi-Fi — $539
iPad mini 32GB Wi-Fi — $649
iPad mini 64GB Wi-Fi — $759
iPad mini 16GB Wi-Fi + 4G — $679
iPad mini 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G — $789
iPad mini 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G — $899