Its been 2 years since Steve Jobs got up on stage with a device that would change the way we look at portable computing forever. Since it launch, the iPad has held the crown as the most loved Tablet, with multimillion units sold each quarter. Now with the iPad 3, around the corner one can only wonder if Apple will continue to hold the lead over the competition. A kind of competition that never hindered them, there has been no real problem for Apple except the launch of the Amazon Kindle, but thats a story for another day.
Lets look at why we feel the iPad 3, if keeps up with claims, will be another tablet of the year.
Build and Form Factor
Since the beginning the iPad has been the only tablet in a unibody aluminum shell, the sheer feel of the tablet exudes to the effect of a premium device. Slim and well weighted the tablet is robust in construction and not easily destroyed, especially if you take care of the 9.7 inch display in front which can be extremely fragile.
The iPad was a wonderful device to hold in the hand, typing was easy – better in portrait and possible in landscape, it was not the most comfortable device to hold single handedly. The iPad 2 changed that completely, with a newer design that fit better, was lighter and had improvements to software which also made single hand operation easy ( gestures).
The iPad 3 is supposedly going to be built on the same platform as the iPad 2 with a small thickness increase, something that will not bother the buyer.
OS and Apps
When the original iPad was launched people called it an oversized iPod touch, possibly because the iOS was the same iOS as on an iPhone or iPod touch. Things have changed since then and Apple has added a bucket load of goodies to make the OS more a powerhouse for the best selling tablet. The OS is streamlined to make the iPad a pseudo-personal computer, with iCloud – data handling and synchronization has never been easier.
iOS for iPad also has better custom apps including professional creative apps from companies like Adobe, including Photoshop, Office apps from Apple themselves: iWork with pages, keynote and numbers for easy as pie office documentation.
Customizations to the OS, like a split keyboard and gesture navigation, make it really easy to use the tablet and no other company has been able to replicate the process in an easy streamlined manner.
The iOS platform also has the largest number of Apps on a mobile OS platform, with mostly all apps compatible with the iPad the entertainment and quality of games on the iPad still remains unmatched.
The iPad 3 is said to feature a major OS upgrades for the tablet including a main feature that is Siri on the iPad, which is already possible if you own a jailbroken iPad, but an official version will be well accepted and appreciated.
The new iPad 3 is supposedly coming with a bumped up processor(A6 or the rumored A5X), which is supposedly carrying a new quad core processor with an advanced GPU, which will -or should improve performance by atleast 10 times. The new display will be a retina display (246 ppi : not true retina) with a double resolution ( 2048 x 1536 px) compared to the existing iPad /iPad 2, which will not only improve the media quality on the iPad, but also make it an excellent Book Reader, especially considering the new iBooks upgrade.
There are also claims of a network capability boost in the iPad 3, where some rumors point to a 4G/ LTE equipped iPad chipset, others claim that it will be a unified global device capable of CDMA/GSM network capabilities in the same device.
Apart from the above obvious upgrades, speculations of more ram and upgraded camera optics along with better speakers are also in the mix. So expect HD FaceTime and better speakers for your iPad 3s.
Games and Apps will perform better and open faster, seamless integration with iCloud will sync all your devices and keep them up to date. Apple may also bump to storage capacities to a possible 128 GB iPad.
The industry is buzzing with news of the iPad 3s release date, almost everyone claims that its going to be announced on the 7th of March 2012 with availability within 2 weeks.
Arguably, the iPad is not the best tablet in the market, but truly its the only one that has sold units in numbers close to PC sales. The Apple ecosystem developed by iOS – iCloud and Mac OS make it an Apple owners delight, somethings are just better on the iPad. Agreed Android offers more flexibility but the platform is still very fragmented. Even with ICS, android is laggy and the overall interface is not nearly as smooth as iOS.
If Amazon does come out with a 10 inch tablet, you can expect it to eat heavily into Apple’s share of the profit pie, only because Amazon will price it aggressively. Windows 8 / Windows Phone Apollo Tabs could also be another factor ( if ever released) .
Unless something truly unique is outed by manufacturers ( possibly a 10 inch Galaxy Note) no one will be able to bother Apple iPad sales, and the new iPad 3 will continue to lead the way through 2012.
What do you think?