Better, faster, sharper iPad expected soon

Apple is holding an event on Wednesday in San Francisco and has hinted that it will reveal a new iPad model. Rumours speak of an updated tablet with a speedier processor, a sharper screen and an option for faster wireless broadband access.

If last year’s launch of the iPad 2 is any guide, the new iPad model will go on sale in the US next week, likely on Friday.

The upgrade from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 will be less significant than the upgrade from the original iPad to the iPad 2, which added two cameras while cutting both the thickness and the weight of the device.

One big unknown is whether Apple will keep the iPad 2 in production and offer it at a lower price, like it kept the iPhone 3GS after the launch of the iPhone 4.

Another big question is whether Apple will reveal its rumoured foray into making TV sets. Some have speculated that the invite to the Apple event, which said: “We have something you really have to see”, points in that direction.

Apple already sells an Apple TV, which isn’t a TV, but a small box that attaches to a TV to display movies and play music from iTunes.

The iPad launch comes as Apple has reached a rare milestone: Last week, it was worth more than $500-billion. Only six other US companies have been worth that much, and none have held that valuation for long. On Tuesday, Apple’s stock fell, bringing its market value down to $493-billion, but analysts believe the company is worth closer to $550-billion.

These are some rumoured features of the iPad 3:

  • A sharper screen, similar to what is known as the retina display on the iPhone 4 and 4s. The rumoured resolution is 2048 by 1536 pixels, which would make text look smoother and some high-resolution pictures look better. It won’t make much of a difference for images on the Web, or video. Some speculate that Apple will call the model the iPad HD, for high definition, rather than iPad 3.
  • The new iPad could include Siri, the voice-activated assistant found on the iPhone 4S. Siri has gotten mixed reviews, but Apple has been touting the feature heavily in its advertising, and it would make sense to expand the availability of this high-profile feature.
  • Faster wireless capabilities. IPads are available with built-in modems for AT&T’s and Verizon’s third-generation, or 3G cellular networks in the US. The iPad 3 could come in a version that offers faster 4G or LTE networks. However, most iPads are used only on Wi-Fi, so an LTE chip wouldn’t matter to most buyers. In this respect, Apple is playing catch-up. Some competitors, such as Samsung and Motorola, already sell LTE-compatible tablets. Since last fall, Sprint Nextel Corp. has sold the iPhone. But it doesn’t sell the iPad. It’s possible it could join AT&T and Verizon Wireless in selling the iPad 3.
  • A faster processor. This is pretty much a given, since every new iPhone or iPad has improved on the computing power of its predecessor. But few users complain about their iPads being slow, so this should not be a major selling point.

Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst for Forrester Research, said hardware features aren’t that important to tablet buyers.

“It’s about the services — what you can do with the device,” she said in a blog post.


Apple’s competitors have slowly come to realise this, but only after bringing out dozens of tablets with whiz-bang features like 3D cameras. The competitor that’s done the best is Amazon.com. Its Kindle Fire tablet is cheaper than the iPad, but what really sets it apart is that it’s tied into Amazon’s book, movie and music stores, making it an easy route to entertainment, just like the iPad.

Still the Kindle Fire has a long way to go. Epps estimates that Amazon sold 5.5-million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, Apple sold 15.4-million iPads, and has sold 55.3-million in total.

According to Canaccord Genuity, 63% of the tablets shipped last year were iPads. The only competitors with more than 5% market share were Amazon and Samsung Electronics. — Sapa-AP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday