As the new iPad’s features are being analyzed, it is also time to go over some of the much expected features and rumors that were missing.
First things first! The new iPad doesn’t differ much from the iPad 2 looks wise. Though the casing is slightly tapered, it is not a radical change. But the lack of a design and look change is more than compensated with many under the hood configuration changes.
Amazon Kindle Fire’s success raked up lot of debate on the 8-inch iPad Mini and about giving choice to the customers in choosing the form factor. We couldn’t even find a trace about this in the iPad event, but still rumors are strong that a tablet with different size will be released by Apple later in this year only. If they do release, at least we have a name for it – ‘the small iPad’.
Quad Core Processor
Many analysts expected debut of A6 quad-core processor .This made more sense as the quad-core market is heating up with Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. The new iPad comes with A5X and Apple claims it is four times faster than Tegra 3. But it is still not an A6 and there’s a lot in the name! Siri’s integration with iPad was taken for granted by everyone, but there’s no mention of whether Siri and the new iPad will allow only dictation.
Other features that were expected but missing includes a 128 GB version and reduction of weight. The new retina display and 4G antenna did not help much on the weight. But it would have been good to have 128GB option. Apple has increased the 4G file download limit to 50 MB and with all those HD pictures and videos 64GB limit can fill up quite quickly.
No iO6, well it was a bit of a long shot but there were some rumors of it popping up in logs. I guess we will have to wait till June 2012 for the Apple’s World Wide Developers conference.
Owning an iPad is always a matter of status and a recent survey by folks from NPD Group validates this. According to this survey a significant percentage of iPad owners are old and wealthy. These wealthy users of iPad might not think twice in lapping up the next-generation iPad3 even if it means forking out a few hundred dollars more. According to the survey more than 40 percent of iPad owners had a household income of $100K or more. This figure is just 26 percent for non-iPad owners.
But as tablet penetration is increasing gradually, the demographics of tablet users are also changing. Recent tablet owners are younger and make less money. 50 percent of buyers at the end of 2011 are more likely to have an income under $45K and 33 percent of buyers are more like to be below 34 years of age. Tablets like Amazon Kindle Fire are definitely behind this change.
Another interesting finding of the survey is that irrespective of age and income many tablet buyers still think that ‘PC is not dead’. Only a meager 10% of tablet owners feel that they don’t need a PC notebook. Even non-tablet users feel the same, 26 percent of them are more likely to buy a notebook compared to just 18 percent who want to purchase a tablet. According to Stephen Baker, VP of NPD, tablet usage is still evolving and many users, being conservative are hedging their bets by planning to have an array of products to have maximum flexibility. It would be interesting to see how Apple and Microsoft adjust their strategies to these changing demographics. Do you think that Apple deserves the premium charged for its tablets? Can iPad usage generate more income for the buyer and turn into a virtuous cycle? Food for thought for another survey!
According to sources at Bloomberg, Apple’s next iPad is all set for a March release. As speculated widely, it will sport a high-definition screen, a faster quad-core processor chip and work with next-generation wireless networks. Apple’s Asian manufacturers are ramping up the production of iPad 3. There will be a break during Chinese Lunar New Year holidays before peaking up again in February.
Features like high-definition display and quad-core processors are already expected. The feature that evokes more interest is LTE (Long Term Evolution). Our previous post talked how there is a clash going on between iPad 3 and iPhone 5 regarding who will feature LTE first. Now it seems that LTE will debut first on iPad before iPhone. According to Bloomberg’s sources, the main reason for this is because iPad comes with a bigger battery and can better cater to the power requirements of LTE. 4G networks provide faster data, but they require a higher-power radio and thus drain battery faster.
Apple has a tendency to wait for mobile technologies to reach critical mass before featuring them on their devices. We noticed the same in case of 3G. The original iPhone came with the slower 2G EDGE technology even though 3G technology was available at that time. Recently iPhone 4S came without featuring 4G. It might be also possible that Apple does not want to endorse 4G carriers at the expense of 3G carriers. iPhone has become such an important part of many people’s lives and it seems Apple doesn’t want to test a power-hungry LTE on it. iPad is still a luxury additional device and not a lifeline like iPhone for many.
Interest around the much talked about iPhone 5 is building up. Results of an online survey conducted by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk reveal that iPhone 5 is UK’s most awaited tech toy of 2012. Survey involved a sample size of 1,916 British adults and they were asked to list the tech gadgets they were most looking forward to. Respondents can choose more than one item if they wish.
74% of the respondents are looking forward to iPhone 5 and iPad 3 comes close second with 71 percent. Wii U is the third most awaited gadget of 2012 with 68 percent. According to Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, it is not at all surprising to see two Apple products occupying the top slots.
The world of technology is ever-changing, so there is always something new that consumers are looking for.
Respondents were also asked to state the reason for excitement about the gadget they chose. The new features on offer seem to be the obvious reason. The top 10 list features another Apple product – Apple TV at fifth spot with 62%. The list also features a Google table at fourth with 65% and Amazon Kindle Fire at sixth with 59%. Tablets crowding this list indicate the huge market potential of this segment. Even though none of the features of iPhone 5 or iPad 3 are officially confirmed, it seems that consumers have full faith in Apple and its innovation.
Looks like Apple is on track to maintain its release cycle and iPad 3 might be scheduled for an early spring release in 2012. Original iPad and iPad2 were launched in April 2010 and March 2011. According to Citi Analyst Richard Gardner, iPad 3 is all set for a big launch with double the resolution of previous model. According to a note he prepared for investors, “There do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining” to iPad3’s release.
Timing of this launch is all the more important for Apple considering many other factors. It needs to fend off the competition that is going to come from the slew of Android tablet releases. Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich version will be giving some tough competition for iOS. There is also a buzz around quad core processors. Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer Prime, built on Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor is setting the trend for many more quad core tablets from other manufacturers.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire at a price below $200 is making a dent in Apple’s market. Windows 8 OS release which is touch-optimized for tablets is already generating enough momentum and it will be a direct threat to Apple iPad. Also many of the new Android tablets are coming with 4G LTE connectivity. Our previous post mentioned the rumors doing the rounds regarding 4G LTE enabled iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Considering all these factors, iPad is due for a major overhaul. Do you think a 4G LTE enabled iPad 3 with double the resolution of iPad2 will set the ball rolling again for Apple’s total dominance in tablet market?
Rumors are buzzing about Apple’s release of new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) enabled devices next year in Japan. These will be released in partnership with Japan’s biggest carrier by number of subscribers, NTT DoCoMo. As per Nikkei Business report, iPad 3 and iPhone 5 are scheduled for next year release. iPad 3 will be the first to come out in summer and then followed by iPhone in the fall. Our previous post talked about the clash between these devices for a release date, but it seems the iPad may have won.
2012 fall release of iPhone 5 means about a year gap with the iPhone 4S release. This gap is in accordance with the time frame followed by Apple in its previous releases. DoCoMo is expected to roll out its LTE infrastructure across Japan in the coming months. Though DoCoMo is Japan’s biggest telco, they are unable to add iPhone to their network as they want to pre-install their own popular applications on the device. Also the carrier is concerned over Apple’s unit volume commitment demands. Softbank and KDDI operators have agreement with iPhone and it is proving to be a huge success.
NTT DoCoMo dominates the LTE market and they recently released LTE-enabled Samsung’s Galaxy S II. It is rumored that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook met the NTT DoCoMo’s team last month and they reached to some kind of an agreement. Apple cannot ignore DoCoMo, considering their staggering subscribers and the domination in LTE market.
Reports are buzzing that Microsoft are planning to launch its Office Software suite optimized for iPad next year and there are chances that this will happen even before the launch of iPad 3. Last month Facebook too released its official app for iPad. With iPad occupying around 80% of the tablet market space, even giants like Microsoft are left with no other option. It will be their loss if they don’t release software optimized for iPads.
As per reports from The Daily, Microsoft has plans to bring the Office software suite for iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air also down the line. According to the news agency, the new software versions will bring more revenue to Microsoft. Microsoft is expected to release its tablet-friendly, touch-optimized and tiled-OS Windows 8 next year. Microsoft is pinning up hopes on this release to challenge Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. But with plans for launching Office for iPad, it looks like Microsoft has more than one strategy to beat the competition. It is a 180 degree shift from the days of exclusivity game-play strategy. As per the daily, “The full versions of Office for Mac and Windows 8 are expected to launch near the end of 2012, though the iPad version could come well ahead of that date”.
Is a fight between iPhone 5 and iPad 3 on the cards in getting a first release date? Apple’s traditional release map had gone haywire this year as iPhone’s release date was pushed from summer to fall. And we can be pretty much sure that the two won’t be released back to back. But many decision-making factors like Apple’s 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) roadmap, quad-core A6 processor, Apple’s next gen iOS 6 and partnership between Apple and T-Mobile are common to both iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
Apple needs next generation antennas to release 4G LTE devices with decent size and a good battery life. Apple might be building these devices on its own. In that cases Apple can incorporate LTE in both the upcoming devices – iPhone 5 and iPad 3. iPad sales figures indicate that more and more iPad buyers are going with the 3G enabled model. These numbers affirm that mobile networking will be a significant factor in the iPad 3 also and not only just in iPhone 5. Both iPad 2 and iPhone 4S run on dual-core A5 processor. Its successor quad-core A6 will be ready by next year. This high-power processor can boost the performance of iPad 3 and iPhone 5 and their apps and experience.
Till now, iOS releases debuted along with a new iPhone. As of now we are not sure of either iPhone 5’s release date or the progress of iOS 6. iPhone 5 coming before iPad 3 might change the iOS pattern this time. In the meanwhile, the talk of an iPad 2S can change the equations all together. The technical and marketing teams of Apple will definitely work it out to make sure that there’s enough space between the launches of these widely-awaited products of 2012.
But could it mean a product gets pushed back even later into 2012? We will have to wait and see
While everyone was drooling over the new iPhone 4S and Siri, Apple may have silently started production of its iPad 3. As per analysts, Apple has increased iPad supply orders and this spike is believed to be driven partly by the new iPad 3. Compared with last month supply chain checks, around 600,000 to one million iPad 3 builds are showing up on the plan for the fourth quarter of 2011. Analysts feel this indicates a spring launch for iPad 3 or even in March. That would be exactly one year after the release of iPad 2.
Is the market ready for another iPad? It will certainly cement Apple’s reign in the tablet market. In September, Gartner folks estimated that Apple will be totally dominating over its competitors until 2014. Apple is expected to command more than 50 percent of the market share consistently for the next 3 years.
More positive reviews are pouring in from critics for this week’s release of iPhone 4S. “The one and only disappointment i have with the iPhone 4S is that the shutdown spinner animation is still low-res”, one reviewer wrote. “That’s pretty low on the list of nits to pick”. Though iPhone 4S has the same shape of iPhone 4, it comes with a better processor, great camera and a revolutionary voice-based personal assistant well integrated with Artificial Intelligence from Apple’s partners. iPhone 4S received a record 1 million preorders on the first day. Preorder stock of all the carrier partners is already exhausted. Though users can still place preorders for iPhone 4S, it might take a couple of weeks to get it shipped. Looks like one more blockbuster launch for Apple is on the cards.
Tuesday October 4th 2011 was an exciting day for iDevice fans around the world. During Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone Event” in California, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the public to the iPhone 4s. Though AT&T has received over 200,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4s, not every Apple fan is ready to upgrade. The previously rumored iPhone 5 had many iPhone owners anticipating a completely redesigned iPhone. In reality, the iPhone 4s is physically similar to the iPhone 4, but the new iPhone does have some major hardware upgrades and some new software. Before making an upgrade decision, all iPhone 4 owners should take a good look at the new features and decide if the iPhone 4s is right for them.
Better Call Quality
The poor signal and bad call quality of the iPhone 4 caused a great deal of customer dissatisfaction. Dropped calls, slow download speeds, and overall connection problems made it difficult for some iPhone customers to enjoy the full iPhone experience. Apple has blamed this major problem on a poorly designed internal antenna. The new iPhone 4s has two antennas which will provide users with a more consistent signal. In addition to fewer dropped calls, iPhone 4s users will also have download speeds of up to 14.4Mbits/s (twice the speed of the earlier iPhone models) thanks to the HSDPA (enhanced 3G mobile technology) upgrade.
One of the most serious iPhone 4 flaws was the phone’s camera. Customers often complained about the low picture quality of the 5-megapixel or 3-megapixel iPhone 4 camera, and the substandard 720p video capture. In response to customer feedback, Apple has improved the camera on the iPhone 4s. The new iPhone model has a 8-megapixel camera and can record 1080p videos.
Storage and memory have always been a major concern for iPhone owners. Having to constantly delete or transfer files to make room for new pictures, ebooks, or music can severely impact a person’s ability to enjoy their iPhone. The iPhone 4s has more storage capacity options and the 8GB internal storage option has been removed entirely. iPhone 4s owners can choose between the 16GB, 32GB, and the brand new 64GB internal memory drive options.
One of the most important changes made to the iPhone 4s is the new processor chip. The iPhone 4s uses the new Apple A5 chip. Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller claims the dual-core processor will provide twice the power of the single-core A4 chip used in the iPhone 4. Apple has also stated that the iPhone 4s A5 chip will boost the graphics performance to at least seven times speed of the iPhone 4.
Apple announced the new IOS 5 operating system during the Apple iPhone 4s product launch. The new operating system improves social media integration and claims to have a better screen lock. However, the IOS 5 operating system will also be available for iPhone 4 users before the iPhone 4s goes on sale October 14th 2011. While Apple says the new operating system will perform better on the iPhone 4s, it is useable on the iPhone 4.
In an effort to make iPhone use more convenient for users, Apple has created Siri, a voice control program designed for use with the iPhone 4s. Siri can perform basic tasks such as send a text message or initiate a call making it similar to other voice recognition programs. However, Siri can also be used to perform more advanced tasks such as answer questions, schedule meetings, and even set alarms. During the Apple “Lets Talk iPhone” event senior vice president of iPhone Software Scott Forstall demonstrated the new Siri technology by asking for restaurant recommendations, checking the NASDAQ and more.
Click here to view the Siri demo video
More Network Capabilities
Apple’s new iPhone 4s will not be limited to AT&T customers like the original iPhone 3GS, and it will not just be available for AT&T or Verizon customers; the iPhone 4s will be available on the Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless networks. This change has made the iPhone a viable option for a large group of wireless customers. The iPhone 4s will also support GSM and CDMA networks making it a worldwide phone.
The iPhone 4s is not much different from the iPhone 4 or even the iPhone 3GS when it comes to size. Apple’s latest iPhone has the same physical dimensions of its predecessors (4.5×2.3x.4) and weighs only one ounce more (4.9 oz) than the iPhone 4. The screen size also remains the same staying 3.5-inch with a 960-by640 display.
Like many smartphones the iPhone has been plagued by a poor battery life. While the iPhone 4 had a better battery life than the iPhone 3GS, the question is; will the iPhone 4s have a better battery life? The answer is yes and no. Apple has focused on promoting the 8 hours of talk time on the iPhone 4s since that talk time is one hour more than the iPhone 4. Unfortunately, that manufacturer estimate is only for 3G talk time meaning the talk time when using the enhanced HSDPA 3G may be less than 8 hours.
The iPhone 4s talk time on 2G remains the same along with the 6 hour battery life when transferring data at 3G speeds. Sadly, the battery life when transferring data using WiFi has dropped to 9 hours for the iPhone 4s. Worse, the total standby hours of battery life have gone from 300 standby hours for the iPhone 4 to just 200 standby hours for the iPhone 4s.
The Bottom Line
Apple’s iPhone 4s has many exciting features that will make using the iPhone more enjoyable for many users. The faster speeds, better call quality, accurate voice recognition, and larger storage capacity all make the iPhone 4s worth the upgrade. However, any person who is not ready to upgrade to the iPhone 4s will benefit from the October 14th 2011 release. The iPhone 4s launch will lead to a price drop on the iPhone 4, and some of the new features (such as the IOS 5 operating system) can be used on the iPhone 4.