Apple getting 'defensive' with 128GB iPad, says analyst

Is Apple trying to ward off new-and-improved Windows 8 hybrids on the way? A Citibank analyst thinks so.

iPad 4 (front) and iPad Mini.
iPad 4 (front) and iPad Mini. Brooke Crothers

With its new pricey fourth-generation iPad 4, Apple has one eye on Windows 8 hybrids, a Citibank analyst said today.

"At $799, this latest iPad [model is] priced above the average selling price of a laptop ($703), bringing the two squarely into the same wallet discussion," Glen Yeung of Citibank said in a research note.

Yeung continued: "Given what we estimate to be a 3-quarter slide in 10" iPad unit sales, we can't help but detect a defensive element to Apple's latest iPad [model]."

That defensiveness is rooted in "trying to head off the onslaught of Haswell-based Ultrabooks and hybrids targeted for 2H13 release," he added, referring to laptop-tablet hybrids based on Intel's upcoming power-efficient Haswell chip due in the second half of this year.

Microsoft's Surface Pro will be a prominent member of that group of hybrids. The 128GB model -- which is offered with a keyboard cover -- will be priced at $999 and pack laptop-like performance.

The initial version will be available on February 9, but Microsoft is undoubtedly planning a future Haswell-based Surface.

Haswell is expected to engender a number of "detachable" designs -- which separate from the base to become a standalone tablet.

Current examples of detachables include Hewlett-Packard's Envy x2, Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T Tablet, Asus' VivoTab, and Acer's Iconia W510.

Surface Pro. Is Apple worried about the crush of Windows 8 hybrid designs coming later in the year?
Surface Pro. Is Apple worried about the crush of Windows 8 hybrid designs coming later in the year? Microsoft
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