After dominating the tablet computing space and selling more than 15 million iPads in just over a year, it is widely expected that Apple will introduce on Wednesday (March 2) another version of the top-selling device.
You don’t stay No. 1 by standing still.
The next-generation iPad is expected to beef up in areas many long suspected it lagged, most notably adding at least one camera — and probably two — to provide the video chat functionality consumers seem to be demanding these days. If you thought you were already living in the sci-fi future fictionalized during childhood, wait until you witness an iPad video chat at Starbucks. Gene Roddenberry would be proud.
The tablet is also rumored to be lighter, faster, louder and even stronger. These are obvious steps in the evolution of the device for Apple — mainly because the competition is getting lighter, faster, louder and even stronger.
However, is it the right step for you? That is what really matters. While Apple’s slick marketing machine is fantastic at making us believe a better life exists if we just point a credit card at that shiny little box behind the counter, should we really snap to it every time a new version arrives at Best Buy ?
Of course, we still don’t know officially what the iPad 2 has to offer, but based on news from many of the component manufactures overseas we have a pretty good idea. Here are five reasons not to go straight out and buy the iPad 2.
iPad 3 could be here late this summer
On the surface, the second iPad sounds very promising, but if previous Apple next-generation gadgets are any indicator, expect to see a quantum leap with the third device.
Is it possible that Apple — with much of its manufacturing spread across Asia in numerous factories that specialize in making varying components — has been ramping up the iPad 3 while simultaneously prepping the iPad 2?
“They use a lot of the same materials, chipsets and manufacturers for several products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch and even Apple TV,” Dmitriy Molchanov, an analyst with the Yankee Group, told iPadNewsDaily.
While certain components would be different in the iPad 3, much would remain the same.
The rumors circulating several months ago about a possible March announcement for iPad 2 appear to be coming to fruition, and now sources are now floating a “fall surprise” from Apple rumored to be the iPad 3.
Just because it’s only a rumor doesn’t mean it won’t become fact.
The iPad is no longer the only tablet in town. In fact, there is some serious competition coming from big-name electronics companies looking to take a bite out of Apple’s first-mover advantage. The top dog among the second tier is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. In the past, the knock on the device was its size. At 7 inches, it was too small, critics said. Well, now they offer the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a screen (10.1 inches) almost an inch bigger than the iPad. And for those who think smaller is better, the Samsung 7 incher is still available. HP will soon launch its TouchPad, and Motorola’s Xoom is another strong device.
There are non-iPad options worth exploring.
You can only run Apple-approved software
Short of jailbreaking that $800 device (don’t do it!), iPad owners are still forced to run Apple-approved software from the somewhat stilted App Store ecosystem. And as we’ve seen recently, Apple runs that place with an iron fist. When you buy an expensive machine, you should be able to use whatever software you want.
It is still a “tweener”
Despite all the iPad success, the device is still considered a “tweener.” It’s not a standalone computer; it’s not a large iPhone/iPod. The truth lies somewhere in between, and until Apple figures out how to increase the iPad’s functionality so it acts more like desktop or laptop, the tablet is a nice-to-have product for those of us who don’t have a budget, but not a must-have product. The iPad 2 will be no different.
You already have an iPad
Let’s get real here. If you are already hopped up about Apple’s March 2 event, chances are you already own an iPad. Is the leap from version one to version two going to be that significant? Chances are we are going to see some real, important changes when the iPad 3 arrives. That could be the tipping point when the iPad sheds its “tweener” tag and we experience a real sea change in computing.