Right after Apple announced the release of the 128 GB iPad yesterday, Twitter and App.net were rife with people perpetuating the now-typical, "I don't need this, therefore it's pointless," buffoonery. John Gruber touched upon it in response to Todd Haselton's piece on TechnoBuffalo:
For some users, sure. But a lot of people — most people, even? — would rather have an iPad than a MacBook Air, no matter the price difference. People like working on the iPad not because it’s cheaper (or at least not only), but because, for them, it is better. (And specifically for people who are looking for a device with more storage capacity than a 64 GB iPad, the Surface Pro seems like a poor choice.)
Gruber also quotes a portion of Apple's press release that discusses the intended user base of a large-capacity iPad: Professionals. But professionals aren't the entire story.
Many detractors cited iCloud and iTunes Match as reasons against the 128 GB iPad. Why would you need all that space if you can just stream your content? Fair, but can you point out a data plan on AT&T's network that offers 30GB a month for a reasonable fee so I can stream all the movies, music, and TV shows I may want to watch when I'm away from Wi-Fi? What if I buy the Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad and I'm on the train or in the air? How will streaming help me then? And how useful will streaming be in areas of the globe where Netflix and iTunes lack the diverse catalogs we're privy to here in the States?
Additionally, some people actually do want to carry their media with them wherever they go. I purchased the 32 GB iPhone and iPad specifically so I could hold more content. As apps get bigger and more robust, I need more space for my music and podcasts. Am I an outlier for wanting physical data stored on my machine? No. In fact, I'm willing to bet most people like having their content readily available regardless of their connection speeds.
Finally, why worry about a 128 GB iPad at all? If you weren't going to buy it anyway, what do you care if this product exists? Does the higher capacity nullify your 64GB iPad's usefulness? I remember just last year writers like Pocket Lint's David Phelan were lamenting the lack of storage options on the 3rd generation iPad:
It's also worth remembering that new, high-resolution apps will take up more space on your iPad. Apple still hasn't moved beyond the 64 GB maximum storage capacity yet, and we really think this new iPad could use a storage boost. Especially if you factor in new, 1080p videos coming to iTunes.
It is worth remembering, David, but this is armchair tech punditry where memories and attention spans share the same lifespans as fruit flies.