Even though chiming in on what features the latest iPad will have is old news, I’m still inclined to share my thoughts about it on the eve of it’s announcement. It’s been on my mind, so I might as well share.
Consider this a first attempt at feature guessing. Gotta build a track record somehow. Without further ado:
1. Identical form factor to the last, using the same materials. I doubt it will be much slimmer unless they made some advancements in battery technology. There are rumours of a white bezel circulating around. I’d say it’s about fifty-fifty. If they do have a white Ipad, is it made of the same plastic as the white iPhone 4? If so, will it ever ship? I suppose just announcing a white IPad 2 makes up for introducing an identical looking device.
2. Either a faster A4 processor ( A5?) or more ram. Unlikely to improve both simultaneously. My bet is on ram, probably doubling up to 1 GB, in Apple’s usual fashion of making incremental changes between models. For storage, while 120GB would be nice, I think they’ll stick with the 3 SKUs they already have, probably for pricing reasons.
3. There will be both a GSM and CDMA version, dual chipsets for next time.
4. FaceTime: Front facing camera from portrait view, same resolution as iPhone 4 or slightly better. Just the one. No way they put one as well for landscape view. I’d also be really surprised if they added a camera on the back as well. It doesn’t make sense ergonomically for taking pictures. I also don’t buy all the arguments that it would be used for augmented reality applications. There have been neat augmented reality apps since the iPhone 3G and none have taken off. No point in including a camera just for that.
5. No SD card slots or peripheral ports of any kind other than the 30 pin dock connector and headphone jack.
6. Same display as the original iPad, except with the new iPhone 4 manufacturing process that allows the glass to be closer to the LED screen. No “retina display” this time. SEE: GRUBER, JOHN.
7. I’m on the fence, but I’ll go with same battery life, save for improvements made on the software end.
8. Biggest software improvements: They’ll show some new version of iOS: 4.X of 5.0. I anticipate that the biggest change will be new features that allow you to move between apps faster and more efficiently, brining some desktop type capabilities to the home screen. It’s already been hinted at through rumoured new multitouch gestures. Air Drop between iOS and Mac devices would be welcome. This is the year of bridging Mac OS and iOS together. No OTA syncing.
9. Same pricing scheme as the current model, unless they actually have a 120 GB model. If they do, there is the possiblity they could do three new SKUs (32 GB, 64 GB and 120 GB) at the current price points. No pricing difference if there is a White model. I could see a new pricing scheme happening if Apple did something like only offer a 3G + WI-FI SKU, with no WI-Fi only model.
10. PIE IN THE SKY WISH: There’s lots of reasons not to, but I could think of some reasons why Apple might keep the current iPad on the market, at a lower price point than the iPad 2, similar to how the 3GS is still sold along with the iPhone 4. Just like iPhone iterating, I don’t expect there to be such a drastic difference between the iPad and iPad 2 that some consumers wouldn’t be perfectly content with what’s currently available, especially if it’s cheaper. It’s a long shot, but I feel it could be a smart move.
We’ll find out tomorrow.