Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wait For the iPad 3

Once we’ve seen the child of light, for real, we’ll know more. In the meantime, let’s get started.

Reason 1: The iPad 3 is coming

Yes, last time I said not to buy an iPad because the iPad 2 was on the horizon. Now, I’m telling you not to buy an iPad 2 because the iPad 3 is on the way. There’s a reason.

All indications are that the iPad 2 is a mere mid-season design refresh, shrinking the size a bit, adding a camera where a camera was always expected, and keeping the display the same.

Apparently, Apple couldn’t get the Retina display ready in time for a spring launch, so they’re just going ahead with a paen to the masses, and launching the iPad 2.

Mark my words: if you get an iPad 2 now, you’ll be deeply disappointed when the iPad 3 comes out.

Reason 2: AT&T only

So, now that we’ve finally seen an actual Verizon iPhone, what about a Verizon-based iPad? If you read all the rumors, you won’t hear even a whisper of Verizon. Why?

If the iPad 2 is substantially the same hardware as the original iPad, it’s going to have the same communications gear. The Verizon iPhone is a completely different machine under the covers and has to be because Verizon’s network is so different.

So if the iPad 2 is really what Apple always intended the original iPad to be, which means — essentially — the same basic design, no Verizon.

Expect Verizon as part of the big redesign in the iPad 3.

Reason 3: No removable storage

The rumor mongers ran amok over the past few weeks with the theory that the iPad 2 would have an SD slot. This, of course, violates Apple’s basic Gestapo approach to hardware design, and was unlikely to be part of the iPad 2.

Now, the rumoristas are reporting that there won’t be an SD card slot, removing any practical, non-camera advantage of the iPad 2 over the original iPad.

Reason 4: You already have an iPad

Face it. If you’re foaming at the mouth over the iPad 2, you already have an iPad. It’s just an obvious point. If you haven’t already purchased an iPad, then you have some control over your purchase urges and you’ll wait and see what the market has in store.

But if you’re reading this, getting more and more worked up, shaking your fist, and screaming, “Gewirtz!” into the drop ceiling of your mom’s basement, then you already have an iPad.

The iPad 2 is the same machine. Sure, there might be a little more RAM and it might hurt your tiny, little hands a little less to lift it, but that’s about it. Yes, we’re hearing there’s a camera, but the sad truth is that if you’re one of those rabid Apple fanbois still living in your mom’s basement, no one other than your mom wants to see your face.

Save your money.

Reason 5: Competition

Without a doubt, every electronics manufacturer has noticed the insane success of the iPad. To Apple’s credit, none of them has managed to compete on both functionality and price. As our own Jason Perlow reports, no one else has Apple’s supply chain advantage.

But the past doesn’t equal the future and there will undoubtedly be interesting competitors, especially coming from the HP/Palm partnership and from the Android world. Sure, there will be horrid, little Android tablets littering the land, but there will eventually be real contenders.

At that point, you might want to look for an open device that will allow you to use your hardware the way you want, without Mommy Apple holding your hand all the way.

Well, except for you angry Mac fans living in the basement. We know your story.

Reasons 6-11: The more things stay the same

No matter how exciting it is that Apple’s introducing a new product, and no matter how much you think any Apple introduction should be enshrined as a national holiday, the fact is that this promotional event is merely that: promotional.

Much of the iPad’s original limitations are still out there. I draw your attention back to my original 9 reasons article and present to you a short list of iPad disappointments that probably will still remain disappointments:

    * Reason 6: There’s still no USB port
    * Reason 7: You still have to use iTunes
    * Reason 8: There’s still no way to wirelessly synchronize your bookmarks
    * Reason 9: Kindles are still much less expensive
    * Reason 10: You can still only run software approved by Apple
    * Reason 11: It still can’t be used as a standalone computer

So there you go. Eleven reasons. If you haven’t bought an iPad, the iPad 2 might be a worthwhile buy, especially if you want to spend $600 on the very best Angry Birds game console ever created.

But if you already have an iPad, save your money. Some day, your mom may insist you move out and you’ll need that money for rent (or to buy an iPad 3).

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