Technically, the iPad 3 never really existed. The third-generation iPad, which was introduced by Apple at an event back in March, was what Apple called the device. At the time it came out, it represented a large step forward from the iPad 2–it offered a far better screen (featuring Apple’s Retina Display technology), a faster processor and, for the first time in an Apple device, LTE capability.
That was just seven months ago. In the tech world, that now represents a full generation, apprently.
Already, the third-generation iPad has been discontinued. Replacing it is the fourth-generation iPad, unveiled by Apple at an event earlier today.
We barely knew ye, iPad 3.
Early adopters of the third-generation iPad might be a bit miffed by the news that the product they just bought is already dead, but the reality is that product cycles are going to keep getting shorter as consumer demand for products like the iPad continues to increase. The pace of technological advancement is relentless. People need to get used to this.
The fourth-generation iPad introduced today features a few key upgrades over the third-generation model, but it’s a very similar product. The form factor is the same, the screen is the same and many of the internals are the same. What’s new is Apple’s new Lightning dock connector (which we saw for the first time at the iPhone 5′s unveiling) and an A6X processor that Apple claims has twice the graphics performance of the previous chip.
Curiously, even though Apple is killing off the third-generation iPad, the company is going to continue to produce and sell the iPad 2 as the discount model of the iPad.
A brand-new, fourth-generation iPad will run you $499 for the 16 GB base model with Wi-Fi only. For the high-end, 64 GB model with both Wi-Fi and LTE, it will cost you $829. The base model iPad 2 will sell for $399.