TECHNOLOGY NOTES

Find Me

Search

Echosphere Note: iPad 3/iPad HD Announcement

As everyone reading this blog probably knows the Apple iPad 3 is likely going to launch tomorrow. The tech blogs are rife with incredibly stupid stories but there are some sane writers out there who are, I think, hitting the nail on the head.

Here’s my take on the iPad3 (or iPad HD, as some are calling it):

Retina Display

This is a no-brainer. I still don’t know what having a Retina Display buys you in everyday use but I think professionals who use it for photo displaying or video watching will find it compelling. For a general user, I think its just another bell-and-whistle among the many and yet another tickmark in a box that makes a case against all other tablets.

I see current Android phones that have touted “high resolution” screens that still can’t hold a candle to the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. Having that same type of leap applied to the iPad will likely be stunning.

I use my iPad 2 to read books, surf the web, read magazines, comic books etc. I don’t know how much better it will look for those things. Watching TV on the iPad always seemed like a sub-optimal way to go – the screen is too small for anything terribly useful. I may eat those words given how much I plan on watching MLB.TV this summer.

Faster processor

I assume it will get a bigger processor to deal with higher resolution photo manipulation, better games and the higher demands that will be made on it as it moves inexorably towards replacing people’s laptops (or even desktops).

Same Great Battery Life

I rarely pay attention to battery life on my iPad 2. In fact, despite daily use, I charge the device around once a week. I see this staying the same (or improving).

More RAM

As we ask more of our iPads, RAM starts becoming a limiting factor and the more important RAM becomes. Higher resolution photo manipulation, video editing, music making, editing large PDF documents, etc. They all require a lot of RAM and, as the needs of the user expand the uses of the device, RAM constraints will never be lessened.

It will help Apple counter some of the dings lobbed at the current generation of iPad by the Android crowd who equates better devices to better specs (which is rarely the case anyway).

LTE

I still don’t think adding LTE support makes any sense, from Apple’s perspective. LTE is supported in very few cities in the US and has very little support outside of the US.

Out of all mobile subscriptions, LTE will, for the foreseeable future, account for only a small percentage of worldwide subscriptions. Less than 1%, in fact, and, according to Informa Telecoms & Media, LTE will account for just 8% still by 2016.

I’ve been saying for quite a while now that Apple’s tactic is always to go for the biggest swath of users first. The most efficient approach, then, is the release the iPad 3/HD to the world as a 3G/Verizon device, the potentially release an LTE version if LTE availability ever reaches critical mass. The web is buzzing that Verizon says something big is coming but I suspect this might just be a sign-up for getting iPad 3 details after the announcement, rather than some sort of LTE reveal.

That said, maybe the deal struck with Verizon is being put in place to help propel LTE to the masses since demand will obviously be very high for the device. Maybe Apple is the key to pushing LTE into general use.

It’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad 3/HD doesn’t launch with LTE.

Same Price Structure

I see iPad 2 becoming the “cheap” model in the iPad family, blowing any chances that inroads are going to be made by Android or Windows tablets any time soon. The release of textbooks in the iBookstore combined with an affordable iPad for students would push the older model iPads out of Apple stores by the millions.

~~~~

AppleTV

A new version of the Apple TV will be debuted tomorrow. Given that 98% of the Apple stores are sold out of the old model, indicating their usual way of clearing the supply chain of old inventory to make way for the new, it seems like a safe bet that something will take its place.

It’s hard to predict what this device might look like. The old model has HDMI and MLB.TV and Netflix, as well as iTunes Match streaming, so as long as these things are maintained, I’ll be happy.

~~~~

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. I can’t wait to see what Apple has in store.