Apple may resurrect its fourth generation iPad when the 8GB iPhone 5c becomes available. According to 9to5Mac, shipments of the tablet have already begun arriving at Apple stores, with instructions not to open until Tuesday, March 18. The device will presumably replace Apple’s iPad 2, which was surprisingly brought back from the dead when the company introduced its iPad Air last fall.
The move is apparently Apple’s desperate attempt to keep the $399 iPad alive. With iPad 2 supplies constrained, Apple has gone back into its vault of retired products and chosen the iPad 4 as its prodigal son. Originally introduced in Oct. 2012 alongside the original iPad mini, the iPad 4 was among Apple’s first devices to sport a Lightning connector. At the time, the iPad’s arrival came as a slight shock, as the iPad 3 had only been introduced earlier that year—there was a 221 day gap between the two devices before the third generation iPad was discontinued.
9to5Mac says 16GB Wi-Fi and LTE versions will be available in black and white, starting at $399—kind of a bummer for anyone who purchased an iPad 2 for $399 recently. With the re-introduction of the iPad 4, Apple’s Lightning technology will be present across the company’s entire tablet laptop; at the moment, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s are still keeping the 30-pin dream alive. If that’s the case, one would assume the arrival of an 8GB iPhone 5c will see the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s dropped for good, bringing Lightning parity across its mobile devices. News is expected to drop tomorrow, so stay tuned.