COMMENT: Speculation has it that Apple is set to announce an iPad 3 in September, with a faster processor and improved functionality. The product, if launched, will come six months after the launch of the iPad2, which goes on sale tomorrow.The concept of a new iPad3, so soon after the release of the iPad 2, has already got some commentators hot under the collar, with several claiming that the thought of paying between $600 and $1,000 for a device only to find out that a new version is coming in September is “ridiculous”.
The concept of an iPad 3 in September makes a lot of sense as technology doesn’t stand still and Apple would be delinquent in their duties if they did not deliver the very latest in tablet technology every few months.
The notion that between $600 and $1,000 is expensive for a new tablet, is also ridiculous, especially if you look where PC based technology has come from and where it is going.
I remember when the humble PC, which back in 1998, cost between $3,500 and $4,500, went through several upgrades from 386, to 486, to 586 to 786 all in one year.
Evolution, is critical in the tablet market especially in the development of the OS and the linking of new hardware technology with software capability.
Like the humble PC workstation which you can pick up today for sub $700 the tablet is set to fall in price with some models set to hit the $200 mark by this time next year.
Remember when the first flat panel TVs hit the market? 42 inch models from Fujitsu and Sony cost around $20,000 whereas today a 42 inch flat panel TV can be picked up for sub $600.
The only way that Apple can hold on to their tablet market share is by cranking out new innovations and keeping ahead of the curve.
Design is not the answer, it’s part of the solution, along with dynamic software that delivers a rich application experience for users.
By this time next year tablets will replace TV remote controls. They will also replace expensive, home automation touch screens, while also being used to manage high end sound systems and receivers, which will be capable of delivering both vision and sound to multiple locations in a house.
One thing that Apple has is massive buying power among component suppliers, this helps. Even big brands like LG and Samsung who also make their own tablets benefit from what Apple is doing.
To corner certain components which Apple have tried to do several times makes a lot of business sense especially with components like display screens.
Several years ago Toshiba were the biggest producer of display screens for notebooks, they cornered the market by only supplying competitors after a new Toshiba notebook had been launched.
The iPad 3, despite not existing yet, is looking better by the day – and not because of any actual deficiencies with the iPad 2
And if you are already asking yourself should I just wait for the iPad 3 and will it be cheaper ?” The answer is, it’s a legitimate question.
BeatWeek Magazine claimed that Apple’s decision to launch the iPad 2 in March when it knew it wouldn’t have anything approaching respectable inventory until at least April, is a curious move, and one which looks increasingly questionable in hindsight.
Why waste the hype? Why piss off potential customers for no reason? Why did Apple set itself up to not be in a position to separate people from their money? Then again, Apple’s bizarre insistence in pushing the iPad 2 to market before it had been manufactured in quantity, even as the iPad still has essentially no mainstream competition, implies that Apple had another motivation to get the iPad 2 out the door as quickly as possible – such as, for instance, the iPad 3 arriving in time for the 2011 holidays, after all.
But then again, such a theory only serves to make the otherwise highly desirable iPad 2 even less attractive to those who already have an iPad 1 and are now looking at perhaps not being able to get their hands on one until May.
Apple had better have something impressive up its sleeve with the iPad 3, because as it stands, the rush to get the iPad 2 to market has resulted in a stunning number of lost iPad 2 sales, at least some of which won’t be recouped even after Apple has figured out to manufacture the latest iPad in quantity.
If Apple can do this with the iPad 3 they could have a distinct edge running into the peak Xmas buying period which is why launching a new iPad in September makes a lot of sense.