The final week in January saw the arrival of a 128GB iPad, more talk about the iPad 5, and another sound off from the ever-controlling and irrelevant Steve Ballmer. Here are just a few of the stories that made news during the week that was.

As The 128GB iPad with Retina display debuts, talk turns to the iPad 5

128GB iPad

128GB iPad

The biggest Apple news of the week was the announcement by Cupertino that a 128GB iPad would launch on Feb. 5. Primarily for business users, the new iPad is the first to extend storage beyond 64GB. It will be priced at $799 for the Wi-Fi only model, and $929 for Wi-Fi + Cellular.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard a lot more about the fifth-generation iPad, which is expected to arrive in the fall. Apple’s next flagship tablet is expected to be thinner and lighter than previous models, and also include a G/F2 thin-film type touch screen structure already found on the iPad mini.

For more on the iPad 5 see: Leaked Rear Panel Images Suggest The iPad 5 Will Look A Lot Like The iPad miniMaybe Apple Will Take A Breather When It Comes To iOS Device Release Dates, and The One iPad 5 Rumor We Haven’t Heard Much About But Really Should.

The iPhone … Finally Becomes King

iPhone Tops Samsung phones

The iPhone Tops Samsung phones

From October through December, Apple shipped more iPhones in the U.S. than all of Samsung’s handsets combined. Surprisingly, this is the first time that Apple has done so. Since 2008, Samsung has been the market leader in the U.S. in terms of the number of smartphones and so-called feature phones shipped.

For the quarter, Apple is said to have shipped 17.7 million iPhone units in the U.S. This compared to Samsung’s 16.8 million units. For all of 2012, Samsung led with 53.0 million units shipped, compared to Apple’s 43.7 million. For the year, Samsung still reigned with 31.8 percent of all shipments. Apple’s share was 26.2 percent during the same time period.

Steve Ballmer’s temper flares up yet again

Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer

During another era, the latest rant from Microsoft’s CEO would have been the top technology news story of the week. Of course, Steve Ballmer isn’t Bill Gates, nor is Microsoft as important as they once were. Nonetheless, Ballmer’s actions still made our list.

As he was introducing the subscription-based Office 365 Home Premium, Ballmer was asked about the long-rumored Office for iPad.

As Brent Dirks reported, Ballmer had a rather interesting response:

I have nothing to say on that topic. We’re very glad with the product, very happy with the product that we’re putting in market. It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we’ll see what we see in the future.

Ballmer also used the occasion to bash Dropbox, and the cloud storage service’s 100 million users:

Well, you’ve got to remember, 100 million sounds like a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users. And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users. I’m not beating on Dropbox. They’re a fine little startup and that’s great.

We first did our HTML versions of Office, the so-called Web Apps, two releases ago. I think probably six years. We enhanced them three years ago. And this is just another logical step down the path that we had embraced.

Ballmer’s statements come after reports were published that said the company sold just 900,000 Surface tablets during the holiday quarter. During the same time period, Apple sold 22.9 million iPads.

And Wall Street thinks Cupertino has problems?!

Recommended Reading

HBO Go

HBO Go

Finally

Super Bowl XLVII kicks off later today, Feb. 3. For nearly three hours, we’ll be entertained by funny new ads with a few football plays in between. To gear up for this year’s cornucopia of Super Bowl ads, we present one of the best that will air tonight, courtesy of Go Daddy.

Interesting, but doesn’t the actor look like a young Ballmer? Coincidence?