The Apple Inc. logo is displayed on the back of the new MacBook Pro David Paul Morris-Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Sam Mattera

Apple (AAPL) said on Tuesday that it will start selling a version of its fourth-generation iPad with 128GB of storage. The device will be available Feb. 5.

With a suggested retail price of $799, this will give consumers yet another choice when it comes to selecting an iPad. The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models sell at $499, $599 and $699, respectively. Cellular data capabilities raises the respective prices.

Adding more storage to the iPad follows what Apple did with its iPod years ago. Original iPods offered around 32GB of storage; current iPods offer 160GB of storage.

Boosting the iPad's storage capabilities will be necessary to continue to expand what the device can do from a computational standpoint; high-end games and applications often require dozens of gigabytes of space.

Now with 128GB, the iPad offers more storage than nearly all other tablets on the market. The iPad's biggest competitors -- the Google (GOOG) Nexus and Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire -- only go up to 32GB. Microsoft's (MSFT) Surface Pro will also offer 128GB of space when it goes on sale Feb. 9. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

With Apple making this move now, it might suggest that a fifth-generation iPad is further away than consumers otherwise expected. Apple released the third-generation iPad early in 2012, and then a fourth generation only a few months later.


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