Rumor mill: Apple updating iPad with global LTE bands
Having learned a harsh lesson when it introduced an LTE-equipped iPad in March that did not include worldwide LTE capabilities, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is said to be readying an enhanced iPad with global LTE that it will unveil alongside its iPad mini on Tuesday.
The new version of the iPad will retain the same $499, $599 and $699 price points, while the LTE line will retain the current $629, $729, and $829 pricing, though the LTE line will include support for global LTE bands, according to 9to5 Mac. The Guardian reported earlier in October that Apple would soon be adding global LTE support to the iPad.
9to5Mac said the smaller iPad, widely called the iPad mini, that will be unveiled for the first time this week, will likely be priced at a minimum of $320 for the base model. Models with more storage and Wi-Fi capability are expected to be priced at $100 premiums over each other at a minimum of $429 and $529.
The smaller iPad is expected to include cellular-capable versions as well, carrying likely minimum price points of $459, $559, and $659.
When Apple introduced its latest version of the iPad in March, the device only supported certain North American LTE frequencies in the 700 MHz and AWS 1.7/2.1 GHz bands. That led to disputes in several nations--most notably Australia--where Apple had marketed the new iPad as having 4G capability even though it did not support local LTE spectrum bands. Apple's iPhone 5, unveiled last month, supports 3G cellular and multiple LTE bands for worldwide service.
While the iPad sports a 9.7-inch display, the small iPad is expected to feature a 7.85-inch display and will likely include Apple's new Lightning connector, which is used in the iPhone 5. Rumors mark Nov. 2 as the date for the smaller iPad's commercial availability.
Sales of the iPad mini could cannibalize up to 1 million existing iPad sales during the quarter but will help Apple boost its user base, according to Gene Munster, analyst with Piper Jaffray, who was quoted by PCMag. "For every 5 million smaller iPads, you lose 1 million standard iPads," Munster wrote.
Piper Jaffray estimates 2013 sales for the larger iPad will reach 95 million, while sales of the iPad mini could come in at 25 million iPad units.
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