Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 6.07.27 PM

Update: March 18: Launched.

Indications from several sources (including our own) indicate that the iPhone 5c is set to see an expansion tomorrow with a less-expensive, lower-capacity 8GB model. But that might not be the only Apple iOS device announcement for tomorrow. According to a source, shipments of Apple’s fourth-generation iPad with Retina display have been arriving at Apple Stores with notices to not open until tomorrow (images below)…

KGI last month forecasted that the 4th generation iPad would replace the iPad 2 in Apple’s $399 low-end 9.7-inch slot. It appears that the transition might be happening tomorrow.

The fourth-generation iPad includes the thicker iPad design introduced with the iPad 2, A6X processor, and a five megapixel camera. The device was originally introduced in October 2012 alongside the first iPad mini, and it was discontinued upon the launch of the iPad Air last fall. 16GB versions of both Wi-Fi-only and LTE-compatible in black and white color options have begun hitting stores.

ipad 4

With the $399 iPad 2 seeing extreme supply constraints, it seems likely that this fourth-generation model is designed to re-ignite iPad growth at the $399 price point and it will replace the aging iPad 2. The iPad 2 remains Apple’s last tablet with the legacy 30-pin dock connector, and the return of the fourth-generation iPad would bring Lightning parity across the Apple tablet line. With the 8GB iPhone 5c incoming tomorrow (in all of 16GB/32GB colors), perhaps the iPhone 4s will see discontinuation as well.

This reshuffle would mean that the entire Apple iOS device lineup would be Lightning-only, allowing Apple to drop the 30-pin standard on almost all of its products.

Update: We’re hearing the LTE 16GB model will cost $559, that’s $30 higher than the $529 price point of the current 3G iPad 2. We’re also hearing it is possible the entry-level iPad 4 will cost $449, which is $50 more than the iPad 2 of today (update: oops, those were the iPad 4 EOL prices as of yesterday. It’s $399.

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17 Responses to “Lightning iPad 4 could make its return tomorrow alongside 8GB iPhone 5c”

  1. pucagaeilge says:

    The iPad 3 was the thicker one, because it was Retina. The iPad 2 was quite svelte.

    The iPad 4 was just a faster iPad 3 with the new connector.

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    • Just wonder how much longer will keep making separate wifi and let models. Don’t see why anyone would buy a iPad 4 for $50 then an air.

      So is the $450 iPad 4 going to be 16GB?

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  2. I tend to be suspicious when the majority of an image is blocked out.

    That said, since Gurman wrote this story and it’s sensible for them to want to get the 30-pin out of there, it will probably happen.

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  3. Siri-less devices will be no-more.

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  4. They should’ve done this from the get go.

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    • yeah or at least the iPad 3…for $399, the iPad 2 is a ripoff.

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      • aeronperyton says:

        Business were still playing bulk orders for iPads with the dock connector because they were already committed to a boatload of accessories. It was a transition period that allowed the Lightening standard to get a foothold. At this point, everyone who “needs” an iPad with the legacy port should already have one.

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  5. You can still buy the 4s so not Lightning only

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  6. Could also have something to do with iOS 8 compatibility. (Remember the iPod touch 4th generation getting replaced last year?)

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  7. CJ Sheets says:

    I’m really surprised they kept the iPad 2 around as a $399 option. The iPad 4 with Lightening connector makes much more sense at that price point.

    Sadly I feel the iPhone 5C needs to hit the sub $300 price point (off contract) to become attractive to most people.

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  8. borntofeel says:

    You shouldn’t have put the 9to5mac watermark over white space :) lol

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  9. rmothershed says:

    if you google the Product code it returns results for a 16GB iPad. Here is a link for amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Retina-Display-MD510LL-Generation/dp/B009W8YQ6K. Amazon indicates that this 4th ten iPad is available on 3/19.

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  10. Really wish they wouldn’t make 8GB versions of any iPad or iPhone. Hopefully they get rid of bath the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S tomorrow.

    Just seems like they should did this in September to have lightning only devices.

    Like