Apple removes cellular option from lower-end iPad Pro

Apple today announced its new iPad Pro, which features a 12.9-inch screen, bigger than the company's existing tablet devices. The company is positioning the device as a high-end tablet for workers and other professionals. Importantly, the company is only including cellular capabilities on the 128 GB version of the device, which potentially could cut into sales of the cellular-capable iPad Pro.

Apple's previous iPads all offer cellular capabilities in all configurations. For example, the company's newest iPad Air 2 comes in three storage configurations: 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. All three of those devices offer cellular-capable options alongside the less expensive Wi-Fi-only options.

However, with Apple's new iPad Pro, the company is only offering cellular connections in one version, the 128 GB model. Apple's 128 GB iPad Pro with LTE will retail for $1079, along with a 32 GB Wi-Fi-only model for $799 and a 128 GB version without cellular connections for $949.

Apple's move to limit cellular capabilities to just the 128 GB iPad Pro could affect the nation's wireless carriers, which have been activating hundreds of thousands of tablets on their respective networks each quarter. The fact that the only LTE-capable iPad Pro costs more than $1,000 could cut into sales of that gadget.

The new iPad Pro sports Apple's new A9X processor, which the company said is 1.8 times faster than the previous chip it replaces. The device also supports Apple's new Smart Keyboard accessory, as well as the new $99 Apple Pencil that allows iPad Pro users to draw on the device's screen.

Interestingly, executives from Microsoft and Adobe showed off apps running on the new Apple iPad Pro; Apple has previously treated Microsoft and Adobe as competitors. That the companies presented their iPad apps at Apple's event underscores both Microsoft and Adobe's embrace of multiple platforms as well as Apple's growing importance in mobile computing.

For more:
- see this Verge article

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