Apple has launched a 128GB version of its iPad, as the firm looks to rival Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro tablet designed for business users.
Set to go on sale on 5 February in the UK, the 128GB iPad doubles the storage found in Apple's present highest capacity tablet.
The WiFi-only 128GB iPad will cost£639, while the 3G enabled model will fetch £739 SIM-free, pricing which sees the cost of Apple's popular tablets catching up with those of its Macbook laptops. By comparison, Apple’s Macbook Air has a starting cost of £849.
Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller said, "With more than 120 million iPads sold, it's clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs.
"With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs."
Apple said that companies involved in things such as 3D CAD, film editing, music creation and X-rays will benefit from the larger storage capacity.
Other than its massive amount of built-in storage, the new iPad model features specifications identical to those of its predecessor. These include a 9.7in Retina display, Apple's A6X chip, dual cameras and support for 4G LTE.
Meanwhile, Apple has released a software update for iPhones and iPads that speeds up data downloads on some major overseas telecom networks and a handful of small US carriers.
Apple says iOS version 6.1 adds the ability to access the "LTE" networks of 36 additional iPhone carriers. Those include Alaska Communications, Bluegrass Cellular of Kentucky and C Spire of Mississippi. Internationally, they include major carriers in Italy, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
The update also includes the ability buy U.S. movie tickets through the "Siri" voice-controlled assistant feature. Also, subscribers to "iTunes Match" will now be able to download individual songs from their online lockers to their phones.