As my grandfather used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and it looks like Steve Jobs and Co. were listening. With all future iterations of any of its successful devices, Apple’s mobile modus operandi has always been to tinker with peripherals and features while leaving the overall form factor alone. So for anyone hoping to see a completely revamped iPad 2 from yesterday’s much ballyhooed unveiling, you were no doubt left wanting.
For me, however, I couldn’t be more pleased. With the iPad 2 sporting an industry leading dual-core processor, advanced graphics technology, and a myriad of other features that make my original iPad seem like yesterday’s garbage, Apple has once against shown that it knows what the mobile market wants and that its able to fulfill those desires faster than anyone else in the business.
Further, a surprisingly sprite looking Steve Jobs gave the eager audience some more good news, consumers won’t have to wait long to get their hands on the newest iteration of the iPad, as it hits store shelves on March 11th.
While yesterday’s media conference still had the energy of a professional wrestling match (for tech geeks), from all accounts Apple dialled down the enthusiasm just a touch, clearly understanding that after selling a whopping 15 million units of the original iPad and capturing 90% of the tablet market, once you’ve got consumers hooked, you don’t need to keep hustling them.
But that’s not to say that Apple wasn’t exceptionally proud to show off the upgraded iPad 2. As expected, it features an industry leading dual-core A5 processor, which is touted to have 9x faster graphics capabilities while maintaining the same power consumption as the A4 chip in the original iPad. It sports a front and rear facing camera as well as a built-in gyroscope feature.
Although I did mention that Apple’s standard operating procedure has always been to leave a device’s successful form factor alone, Apple did make the iPad 2 significantly thinner, shrinking it from 13mm to an incredibly skinny 8.8mm. What is notably missing, however, is any sort of 4G capability, something we’ll probably have to wait another year for.
In the end, the rollout of the iPad 2 went pretty much as expected. There was nothing in the list of features that was overly surprising–although some of the new features of the latest release of the operating system, iOS 4.3, offer some intriguing upgrades–but really there didn’t have to be. As evidenced by the huge success of the original iPad, users like the design, they like the mobility, and they like the convenience of the device, so why would Apple want to potentially mess that up?
Further, with several new accessories and add-ons designed to make the iPad 2 more versatile to the business, medical, entertainment and education sectors, there’s plenty in the iPad 2 to keep people interested.
Beyond that, I would wager that the mass adoption of the iPad 2 will only make the iPad franchise as whole more successful (sounds obvious, I know), as used iPads will now trickle down to those that could previously not afford them, meaning that soon Apple’s domination will spread to heretofore untapped tablet markets.
So, with the iPad 2 slated for its US release on March 11 and worldwide release on March 25, the only question left to be asked is, does anyone want to buy an original iPad?