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Apple announces iPad with double storage capacity

The new version of the latest iPad will have 128 gigabytes.

A graphic showing earnings for Apple, which posted a revenue of $54.5 billion for the quarter ending December but offered a disappointing forecast for the coming months. It also includes total products sold. Graphic: AFP.

Apple Inc said on Tuesday that it will sell a version of its iPad tablet computer with 128 gigabytes of storage, which is twice the capacity of its existing models.

Apple, which has sold more than 120 million iPads so far, said that the new iPad will go on sale February 5, in black or white, for a suggested retail price of $799 (R7,214) for the iPad with just Wi-Fi model, and $929 (R8,388) for the version that also has a cellular wireless connection.

Recently the consumer electronics manufacturer missed Wall Street's revenue forecast for the third straight quarter as iPhone sales came in below expectations, fuelling investors' worries that its dominance of the mobile industry was slipping.

Shares of the world's largest tech company fell 10 percent to $463 (R4,180) after-hours last week, wiping out some $50 billion of its market value from its $514 close.

Investors' expectations heading into the results had already been subdued by news of possible production cutbacks by some component suppliers in Asia, triggering fears that demand for the iPhone, which accounts for half of Apple's revenue, and the iPad could be slowing.

Apple shares are down nearly 30 percent from a record high in September, in part on worries that its days of hyper growth are over and its mobile devices are no longer as popular.

Intense competition from Samsung's cheaper phones - powered by Google's Android software - and signs that the premium smartphone market may be close to saturation in developed markets have also caused a lot of investor anxiety.

Sales of the iPad came in at 22.9 million in the fiscal first quarter, roughly in line with forecasts.