Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The next iPad model

Before the hype about what is going to be the next iPad has completely overwhelmed everyone, I must put a stake in the ground and make some predictions.

Here are five predictions I am going to make about the new iPad. This is not anything I heard from anyone, or have read anywhere. This is not based on any knowledge - this is pure speculation, along with some analysis as to why I believe the prediction.

Prediction #1. The screen form factor is going to be the same.

Contrary to some speculation around I believe that Apple will keep the same screen form factor. They may make the device lighter somehow, but they will keep the same screen size. There are number of reasons for this.

Number one is that Apple wants its fan base to buy the new hardware and sell their current one second hand to those who want it but can't afford the new one. We've seen it with both iPhones and Macs - this has been happening every year for a number of years now. This is the easiest way for Apple to make quick win in the market and declare the new product a success. The people who bought the original iPad will spend money on the new one and since they've deemed the form factor as something they like - why spoil a good thing.

Number two is that applications that were developed for the current iPad, will run on the new one, unmodified. Since the novelty factor of the new gadget has worn off and Apple is facing some competition in the area, their best defense is apps. Keeping the apps the same gives them solid market protection.

Number three is this keeps the developers happy by not increasing the variety of platforms and form factors they need to develop for.

Prediction #2. There will be a front facing camera.

Yes, I think there will be at least one camera in the iPad and I believe FaceTime is coming to the iPad. That will be one of the top reasons for people to upgrade.

The second camera doesn't make much sense, but than I didn't think they'll put one into iPod touch and they did. Although the back camera does make more sense in an iPod touch than in an iPad.

Prediction #3. iPad is getting the Retina display.

I love the display on my iPhone 4. iPhone has got it, iPod has got it, iPad is going to get it and it will be touted as another reason to upgrade.

Prediction #4. iPad is going to be much faster.

There will be a CPU upgrade to make it faster. Not for a reason that iPad is not currently fast enough, but simply because that is what Apple does with every new device, every year - it makes them faster. iPad is no exception.

Prediction #5. There will be a new surprise feature that we haven't seen in any of the devices yet.

All of the above features are kind of predictable and are already in the iPhone and iPod touch. They may not be enough reason to upgrade for many of the current iPad users. However, Apple is known for creating demand for its new products and for bringing something new to create the iWant factor.

The new feature will either be software or hardware based.

Watch this space.

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