tech2 News StaffOct 14, 2014 10:35:18 IST
Apple is expected to take the wraps off its latest range of iPads on October 16. The invite which reads "It's been way too long", comes weeks after the company released its latest iPhones - the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have been a massive hit. Will the new iPads receive a similar welcome?
Research firm Fiksu has found that the three-year old iPad 2 is still the most widely used iPad as of April 2014. You won’t have much digging to do to find out why. Apple’s subsequent iPad models, iPad 4 and the iPad mini were not drastically different from the iPad 2. While the iPad 4 had a sharper Retina Display screen, the iPad mini was essentially a dinkier iPad 2.
Last year’s iPad Air showed more promise during the first week after its launch. The upgrade was again minimal, with the only changes being a lighter, slimmer body and a faster processor. Features such as the battery life, operating system, camera and the display quality were more or less identical to earlier models. Sales soon slipped and the adoption of the iPad Air rate as of April 2014 sat at 14.8% - fourth in place after the iPad 2, iPad mini and the iPad 4.
Another pitfall for the tablets, which is not exclusive to just the iPad, is the fact that tablets have limited uses. They are great for on-the-go reading, watching movies and browsing, but the limited screen size means they are not ideal for getting work done. Also, these tasks can be easily substituted with the more ubiquitous smartphone that get larger displays with nearly every iteration. Even Apple has prepped the size of the iPhone with 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen sizes in its latest iPhone 6 models.
Compared with iPhones, iPads come with fewer improvements and cost more without carrier subsidies. In many countries, iPhone users upgrade to newer models when their contracts end, which does not happen with iPads. Apple also admits that new iPad buyers are first-time users, who hold on to them longer than their smartphones. To add to it, there are countless cheaper, Android-based tablets in the market that are usually fit for purpose. Considering the limited uses and consequently longer shelf life, it makes little sense for tablet users to opt for an expensive iPad -- unless of course, they come up with these options.
1. There is a new, larger 12.9-inch iPad in the pipeline but that isn't really the issue is it? The screen is big enough as it is but how about a split screen? Something that allows you to maybe watch a match and read a comic or play a game at the same time. Something that we have seen Samsung do with the Note; something that Apple could do with much more polish. iOS is fine for a smartphone but it needs to make better use of the larger screen space and bring in multi-tasking in a much truer sense.
2. The iPad is portable. If you are travelling and carry just an iPad -- it's perfect for all your browsing and mailing needs. But if you actually have to do some work; some image editing then suddenly you are wishing for a proper laptop. This is an area that the iPad needs to bridge. The Blackberry Passport's keyboard might be a direction that Apple should look at.
As Ivor Soans noted in our Blackberry Passport review: "The patented, capacitive keyboard with a good tactile feel, transforms a physical keyboard to a touchpad and makes for almost a seamless extension of the screen and leaves the screen clear for display rather than input."
If not that -- then perhaps good trackpad support or a mouse might cut the deal in certain cases.
3. It's lighter, it's faster and the battery life continues to improve -- but surely Apple can drop in a better camera too. The front-facing camera leaves a lot to be desired and pales in comparison to the iPhone. Apple probably thought that not too many would use it to video chat but people do FaceTime and that is when the limitations show.
4. You can watch Youtube videos on the iPad and even stream them if you want to. But if someone sends you a mail with a video or if there is a certain movie you want to watch, then transferring it to the iPad is a long drawn process. If Apple could (not certain they would), they need to free the iPad of the mobile OS in that sense.... make it more of a Macbook... give us more control.
If Apple can somehow do all of this, then perhaps I will be tempted to dump my old iPad and buy their latest offering. After all, we aren't asking for much.
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