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By 29 November 2013 | Categories: news

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In case, like us, you were wondering when the iPad Air will be whisking its way to local shores, wonder no more – Apple’s lightest and latest tablet will be arriving in a mere week’s time.

Indeed, given that the iPhone 5s and 5c took a couple of months from the time they were announced Stateside until the time they reached South African users’ hands, the question was not whether the iPad Air would arrive but rather how quickly it could do so, and whether Apple locally would make it available before, or sadly only after, the holidays.

The good news, of course, is that it is the former rather that the latter, meaning that your year end bonus may just be spoken for (if the impending PS4 hasn’t claimed it already). Additionally, the Core Group also unveiled the pricing, which remains largely unchanged from the previous generation iPad, if one considers the depressing plunge that the exchange rate has taken in the latest few months.

Thus, the iPad Air Wi-Fi models will be available in silver or space grey for a recommended retail price of R6 000 for the 16 GB model, R7 400 for the 32 GB model, R8 700 for the 64 GB model and R10 000 for the 128 GB model. Meanwhile, the iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be available in silver and space grey for R7 800 for the 16 GB, R9 000 for the 32 GB versions, R10 000 for the 64 GB, and R11 500 for the top of the range 128 GB iPad.

Great expectations

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of iPad Air in South Africa. iPad created an entirely new mobile computing experience, and the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead. Once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is,” commented Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk, the executive director at the Core Group.

The tablet, which managed to surprise many an expectant pundit, not only sports the Air moniker but also marks a rather drastic redesign in the range since the launch of the first iPad. Most importantly is the weight difference, with the iPad Air weighing in at just under 500 g – a significant 20% thinner and almost a third lighter than the previous 4th gen iPad. Additionally, the iPad Air’s bezel has also had a bit of a shave, taking after the iPad Mini’s design, which should result in the 9.7” tablet being somewhat more compact and portable than its predecessors.

Alas, there is no word yet as to when we can expect the new iPad Mini with Retina Display to similarly be made available, although if we had to hazard a guess judging by the speediness of the iPad Air's arrival, it would likely be sooner rather than later.

Rebates and returns

The Core Group has also pointed out that iPad Air customers will also qualify for free productivity and creativity apps, as Apple have made iWork (Keynote, Pages and Numbers) and iLife (Garageband, iPhoto and iMove) free with the purchase of a new iPad. Furthermore, users will apparently be able to trade in their older iPad for a bit of cash back on their cash purchase of the new model. How much exactly has not been divulged, and instead necessitates a trip to an iStore.

“We know that South Africans have been waiting eagerly for this unbelievable product. We encourage customers to visit their nearest iPad Air retailer to see just how dramatically thinner and lighter it is and experience this life-changing device for themselves,” concluded Van Spaandonk.

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