Should I wait for the iPad 3?

March 3, 2012 in MultiMedia by Arpad

iPad 3

Apple iPad 3

If you are thinking about buying a tablet, you may want to consider what Apple may have coming. The rumors are alive and well regarding the release of a new iPad this Spring. Some people even set an March 7 date for the announcement. Let’s see what to expect based on the past actions of Apple. Just like when it comes to the stocks past performance is not a guarantee for future results, we can make predictions what the new iPad will be like. Although, like the iPhone 5, that did not show up on time and was actually called iPhone 4S, the prophecies may be false.

You can read articles that make predictions based on back covers or other little clues that supposedly belong to the new iPad 3 (or iPad 2S or iPad HD) but there is nothing real concrete of what the design may look like. Apple has a track record of releasing new products in the Spring (iPad: April 2010, iPad 2: March 2011). If the tradition continues March or April of 2012 would be right on schedule.

Connectivity:

The iPad 3 may have LTE. The Verizon version would almost have to have LTE, considering how fast Verizon is trying to replace their current network that gives them technical disadvantages compared to the competition. The AT&T model would do well with an enhanced 3G (also called 4G with the higher data rate HSUPA), LTE combo version. This would work relatively fast regardless where you are on the network.

Although LTE has a price that you pay, higher power consumption that translates to shorter battery life. The price is even paid when the data rate is not necessarily so high. This could be because the upload speed of the source has a limit, there are too many users on the same cell and they are splitting up the bandwidth, or you just do not need any faster speed (streaming).

Is it worth to buy the LTE option? I would say that it depends on the user. If you are an outside salesman showing presentation videos from you server, you should get it. If you are reading the latest best-selling novel on your couch, probably stick with the WiFi version.

Voice Recognition – Virtual Assistant:

With the introduction of Siri Apple seemed to have made a commitment into this direction. This commitment will most likely continue for the new iPad 3. Although a phone has more reason to have this feature since when you are driving you might be much safer talking than looking and typing. It may not be so important for a tablet. However, Siri is more than just voice recognition. It is a step towards artificial intelligence. Most users with iPhone 4S do not actually use the feature though. It is possibly because they are just not used to it. It also increases the need for increased data flow in both directions by about three fold.

Camera:

The current iPad 2 camera is behind industry standard. Although Apple usually tend to be behind other companies with implementation of new technology, we can expect better cameras for the iPad 3.

Screen resolution – Retina Display:

This is one of the features that generated the most buzz when it comes to the iPad 3. People seem to be very excited. Will it make a big difference? Photos will look probably a little sharper. Since we are already close to the resolution of the human eye, the difference may not be so obvious to everyone. It also depends on how good your vision is.

Touch Screen:

Apple may be coming out with a new feature for touch screen that has an emerging tactile technology. If it is true that would be the icing on the cake, the one feature that would not just be an incremental change but a bold new move that makes people talk about the product. Rumors only started circulating recently so Apple has been successful keeping the lid on this information if indeed it is true.

Touchscreen interface solutions developer Senseg hinted that Apple may use the company’s groundbreaking technology in the new iPad. Companies have been trying to make it possible for users to feel with their fingers on touch screens. One of the reasons it is more difficult to type on a flat surface compared to a keyboard is that the finger cannot tell where the keys exactly are. It looks like Senseg went beyond this goal and opened up a whole new dimension. The company website states:

“Senseg turns touch screens into Feel Screens, …  With Senseg touch screens come alive with textures, contours and edges that users can feel. Using Senseg technology, makers of tablet computers, smart phones, and any touch interface device can deliver revolutionary user experiences with high fidelity tactile sensations. Your customers will Feel the Difference with Senseg.”

Processor Speed – Multi Core:

As we got used to the never ending race with PCs, faster processors bring needier software. You can never have enough speed. The rumored A6 chip a quad core fast processor maybe coming with more than a GHz clock speed. A new 3D architecture is talked about for the processor where the connection are not only on a surface.

Other Features:

Bigger storage would be a no brainer considering the decrease in the price of flash memory.

There is talk about thinner as well as thicker body compared to the iPad 2. The thickness is already at a level where consumers may not want to pay extra for going even further down. Increased battery life (or at least maintained with LTE) would be a more valuable feature.

There are rumors about a smaller screen size. However, iPad Mini could be in addition to the iPad 3 later this year, not instead. This would allow Apple to compete with the Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barns & Noble’s Nook that are cutting into their sales numbers.

Many users are wishing for SD card slot or standard micro-USB port or near filed communication. However, Apple traditionally did not give in to requests like that and valued control over satisfying geeks.

Conclusion:

The iPad 3 will probably have enough improvements so that customers have a reason to buy it over the iPad 2 that will probably be offered at a lower price. Some of the retailers are already offering some discount because sales dropped thanks to the rumors.

Check out the news article on Apple revealing the new iPad 3.

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