#ipad 3

iPad 3 (or whatever it will be called) will be announced during an event in San Francisco in the first week of March, reports John Packowski. Makes sense — that’s exactly what Apple did last year. 

The only question I have is on the specific timing. Last year, Apple announced the iPad 2 on Wednesday, March 2 and shipped it on Friday, March 11.

But this year, March doesn’t start until a Thursday. Do they do it on that Thursday or Friday or wait until the following week? I only wonder this because last year, the device launch coincided with SXSW, which seemed like it might be a headache at first, but thanks to some pop-up shops in Austin, ended up as great press for Apple. They were the talk of the event despite have no real presence there. 

SXSW starts on Friday, March 9 this year, so that launch date would make sense again. And it happens to line up perfectly with a snippet of carrier code found yesterday that suggests iOS 5.1 will launch on March 9.

So does Apple do a Thursday/Friday unveiling (not unheard of, but they typically do Tuesday/Wednesday)? Or do they wait until the following week and then ship the iPad just days later? Do does the iPad ship the week after SXSW Interactive? The Ides of March?

None of this really matters. I’m basically just thinking out loud so I can plan my trip to Austin. 

joshuacalledme-deactivated20130 asked:

We all know what the hardware story is going to be for the iPad 3 (or at least, a very good approximation). But what's the software story? Too early for iOS6, and Apple always need a good software story to explain why there's quad core processors or why there's 4x the pixels.

I imagine it will be iOS 5.1 that ships with the next iPad. Or perhaps iOS 5.2, as it looks like iOS 5.1 is just about done. I agree that there will need to be some sort of software “story”, but it definitely won’t be iOS 6 (too soon).

If the next iPad does in fact feature a quad-core processor, the software story will probably be something like “all your software, but faster — devs should start optimizing for the four cores, but make sure the app works everywhere”.

As for the 4x pixels, I have to believe (though don’t know for sure) that Apple is already (or soon will be) working with select third-parties to release “Retina” iPad apps out of the gate. The software story there is: “your apps, 4x more beautiful”. 

Hi-def screen has been more or less a forgone conclusion for months (I cannot wait to see what it looks like). Better processor is a no-brainer. But this is the big news in the Bloomberg story from Tim Culpan, Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano:

Apple is bringing LTE to the iPad before the iPhone because the tablet has a bigger battery and can better support the power requirements of the newer technology, said one of the people.

Makes sense to me. Sarah and I talked about this possibility on iPad Today (about 4:30 in) a few weeks ago. 

And if the iPad does gain LTE, the logical next step is that the next iPhone would gain the technology as well. But I’m with John Gruber, it’s more likely, but not a slam dunk. Every single person I know who has a 4G phone still just bitches about the awful battery life when LTE is enabled. There will need to be more power-efficient chips (which seems likely) and/or Apple will have to pull out some battery life magic (also likely) to ensure an LTE iPhone this year.

No shit, Wall Street Journal.

Not much new information, but as far as I know, this is the next generation iPad that I began talking about earlier this year (before the iPad 2 was even announced). 

As I’ve been saying, the latest word has been that it has been delayed a bit due to component issues. The original plan was to go all-out with a one-two punch in 2011. Now it looks like the second punch may have to wait until early 2012.

Of course, that’s not a big deal when that first punch already killed one competitor

The Daily is citing sources saying the iPhone 5 will look similar to the iPhone 4 but with tapered edges — sounds like this concept, not the teardrop shape that had been rumored. They’re also betting on a September launch. We’ll see.

But the more interesting claims are about the next iPad. Upgraded iPad 2 with Retina-like display isn’t new, but they’re saying the device will be carrier-subsidized, like the iPhone is. This could mean iPads for as little as $199.

Of course, to get that deal, you’d have to sign a contract with a carrier. Apple so far has only allowed the carriers to offer pay-as-you go plans, which means no subsidy on the device, keeping it at $499 for the entry-level.

No idea if this is true or not — and certainly you’d could argue that it’s not something Apple has to do given their tablet dominance — but it’s interesting. I have a 3G iPad 2, but I almost never use the 3G service. But if the carriers were willing to eat $300 off the initial price and charge you something like $29 a month (remember, it would be data-only, not phone service too), that would be enticing.

It would still be a good deal for the carriers long-term (obviously) — $29 a month times 24 months is $696, well over the $300, they’d eat. But it would be a decent deal for consumers as well. 

Also, The Daily notes:

Rumors of another iPad first sprung up shortly after the launch of the iPad 2 in March.

Weird, I seem to recall writing about it in early February, before the iPad 2 even launched. 

Joshua Topolsky reports that Apple will release a new iPad this fall dubbed “iPad HD”, which will sport a 2048 x 1536 resolution. 

Of course, I reported on Apple planning a fall iPad refresh back in February. While I called it “iPad 3”, I noted I was only doing so to “keep it simple” — remember, the iPad 2 hadn’t even been announced at the time.

John Gruber kick-started all of this new iPad talk right before my report, but stated his talk were merely a “guess”.

I speculated that the device would have a “Retina” display, but didn’t have any firm details. Still, as I said:

Again, to be clear, my information on this isn’t a guess (though my thoughts as to the reasons why Apple would do this are). Apple’s plan, at least right now, is to release another version of the iPad in the fall. That may change, but that is currently the plan.

Everyone thought I was crazy.

Crazy.

They’re Not Saying “Boo”, They’re Saying “Xoom”

So I’ve read over almost all of the reviews of the Xoom now (on my iPad, naturally). The consensus is very clear: promising but extremely buggy. 

You have to wonder why Motorola and Google would allow a product with so many bugs/quirks to not only go out to reviewers, but to go out to the public starting tomorrow. Actually, no you don’t have to wonder at all. You only have to think of one word that starts with a lowercase “i”.

If Google/Motorola didn’t beat the iPad 2 to the market, they knew they would be screwed. The Xoom is already more expensive than the iPad, a device which has now absolutely dominated the market for a full year. The iPad 2 will be priced the same, but with big bumps on the spec/feature side of things.

And not one of the reviewers has suggested that the Xoom is an “iPad killer” in any way. It has some specs which are better on paper, but in reality, the bugs stop those from actually being better. The bottom line seems to be that the Xoom is merely the first tablet that is even remotely worthy of being compared to the iPad — at all. And when you think about it, that’s really kind of pathetic. Again, it has been a year.

I’ve only played with the Xoom myself for about 10 minutes. It seemed very nice. I love the idea of true tabbed browsing on a tablet and a true tablet-optimized native Gmail experience. But the reviews from those with a lot more time actually using the thing out in the field simply aren’t very good.

And you can tell that a few of them are really pulling for this thing to bring some sort of competition to the market, but the Xoom falls short of the iPad. And that’s the iPad 1. And the iPad 2 is seven days away. 

And then there’s that other iPad looming

Sounds a lot like what I said two weeks ago:

So, aside from the camera and it being slimmer (which are a nice additions, but not a game-changing), it sounds like the iPad 2 will be to the iPad 1 what the iPhone 3GS was to the iPhone 3G. That is, a faster, more polished offering.

But Apple has a history of not resting on their laurels. That’s perhaps the key reason why they’ve been so successful in recent years. And that’s exactly why they strike with the iPad 3 in the fall.

And the iPad 2 with Light Peak (Thunderbolt) speculation is starting to look better.