Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Apple revs up expectations for the latest IPAD.

Article first published as Apple Revs Up Expectations for the Latest iPad on Technorati.

I wrote an article last week in my Digital Dynamic Blog entitled, "It's Crazy".  I aimed it squarely at this week's IPAD launch and the media frenzy that accompanied it.  Seems I was right as we were treated to an avalanche of media attention and outlandish marketing sound bites.  Of course Apple's CEO Tim Cook wrung a bit more anticipation out of the crowd by first announcing the new 1080P Apple TV box before getting to the star of the show.   The new IPAD which is curiously just called, IPAD (not IPAD3 or IPAD HD) has the following specifications.

2048 x 1536 (3.1 million pixels) Retina display.
A5X processor, quad-core graphics

5 MP camera on the back
HD (1080p) video capture

Voice dictation (not SIRI by the way)
4G LTE capability For the IPAD LTE (73 mbps on LTE).

Wireless hotspot capability
10 hour battery life, 9 hours on 4G.

9.4mm thick, 1.4lbs.
Compatible  mobile carriers; Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada, At&T and Verizon in the U.S.

Price Wi-Fi iPad: 16 GB ($499), 32 GB ($599), 64 GB ($699)
Price Wi-Fi + 4G: 16 GB ($629), 32 GB ($729), 64 GB ($829)

IPAD2 pricing will also drop by $100.
Availability: March 16th in the U.S. and Canada

During the event, Tim Cook boasted of more IPAD sales in the 4th quarter of 2011 than any makers PC sales.  That's a dubious statement considering most people don't use tablets the same way they use a pc especially when there's heavy lifting to be done.  While technically accurate, the statement holds no more distinction than asserting that more paperclips were sold in the same quarter than the total number of IPADS ever produced. 

The advent of the tablet is a welcome utility for many but just as your corner convenience store is not a threat to the supermarket the tablet is no threat to the pc.  Unfortunately, Ultrabook pc makers feel it is  leading at least one manufacturer, Acer to aim for a $499 price point.  This after admitting they currently make no profit at the current $799 price.   Considering a pc in any form factor will by its very nature will have more functionality than a tablet it seems a pointless goal.  More so when you consider that the top end of the IPAD food chain offers little more than a nice display and LTE connectivity at a $829 price point.  

Tablets have their place but limitations of storage, dependency on network connectivity for basic functionality and limited performance compared to even entry level PC's makes them more of a compliment than replacement for pc's.  That also calls into question the Apple price premium especially if you don't normally utilize their ecosystem.  Cooler heads suggest selecting devices based on your needs instead of marketing hype.