Opinion: 2 ipad refreshes next year

Discussion in 'iPad' started by lord patton, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Jun 6, 2005
    I know there are lots of threads predicting feature of the next ipad, but I wanted to focus on one particular prediction: when will apple update the ipad?

    Certainly, most agree that a refresh will come early in 2011, and so do I. Prediction: February announcement, march release.

    But at the same time, I think apple needs to refresh the ipad for the holiday season (just as they do for iPods). For example, if I was really wanting to splurge (or really in the doghouse) I might buy my wife an ipad for Christmas. But—even if inclined to—I wouldn't, because safe money says new ones are 2 months out.

    I think the average consumer does care about this somewhat, but it's not effecting ipad sales now because the device/category is so new. Next holiday season, with more competitors and an actual android tablet-ized os, a 10 month old ipad will suffer it's age, particularly as it's more suited to gift giving than a phone.

    Any thoughts?

    My best guess is small feature update (camera, sd slot, speed bump) in February, followed by something more substantial, perhaps dual cores and higher res screen, in the fall. I think iOS 5 will ship with the next iPhone, but not be ready for the ipad until fall (very early fall, this time).

    Also, the 3G premium will go down to $100.
  2. Dumbledorelives macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2010
    I agree with you. That seems to be a very realistic prediction.

    The people who keep trying to tell us there's going to be a retina display drive me crazy.

  3. iSax1234 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    When ever has Apple announced an update to be released later? We won't see a separate Announce/release.
  4. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    I disagree with Feb announcement March release. When they announce it they will say available now. No prerelease announcement. I also feel they won't wait for the one year anniversary of iPad 1, it will be sooner.
  5. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    what makes you say that?
  6. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Totally disagree I'm afraid on pretty much every point.

    Two refreshes in a year would be pointless, better to just keep the existing model until the fall if you're going to do that. Having a lifecycle of 6 months would REALLY annoy users, make it difficult to juggle production lines and damage the brand, not to mention it'd compete with the iPod Touch if everything was refreshed together. Oh, and safe money says April, not February for release considering that rumours point to manufacturers shipping devices TO APPLE at the end of Feb so that stock can be built up.

    iOS 5 will be a simultanious release across all three categories, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The only reason we got the staggered version this time round is Apple kept development of the iPad very secret and needed to introduce certain features in advance of iOS 4 requiring a bespoke build. I'd be astonished if that situation happened again now that the iPad is officialy in the production process for iOS.

    Now a 10 month old iPad suffering against newer Android competition... hmm, this is very much dependent on Apple but I think not. The more I look at technology rumoured or announced for the first half of 2011 the more I think we're going to see a dual core processor from Apple and that it'll be launched in the new iPad. They were, after all, ahead of the game with the A4 and considering the effort they're putting in on the silcon side I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them hit the market first with a dual core processor. On the screen side I would be amazed if we saw a Retina display (as in, double the horizontal and vertical resolution from the existing iPad) but even if they stuck with the existing screen are Android devices REALLY going to rip past that? It's certainly ahead of any other screen we've seen on a tablet to date.

    So personally I'd say:

    * iPad sticks with a March / April timeframe for launch (possibly combining with iOS5 developer event thus getting them out of the hole of not being able to demo the new version of iOS with new hardware)
    * Hardware refresh to double the memory, possibly with a new lower price point for 16Gb, add a new processor, possibly dual core, facetime camera and a few other changes with an update screen possible but not likely.
    * Competition will be stiffer at Christmas 2011 but the combination of design, software, app library and brand will be enough to ensure Apple can shift millions of units regardless, much in the same way the iPhone keeps selling despite newer devices being on the market.
  7. Coukos34 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Going to have to agree. I think people often forget how Apple operates, and what factors into how they make these decisions. And don't even get me started on these people who think it is getting a "retina" display :rolleyes:
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The only time that Apple ever announces a product that doesn't ship immediately (or within "a few days") it's because it's a new product. Like the first iPhone announcement or the first iPad announcement. If Apple announced iPad 2 in February and released it a month later, they would have just completely killed iPad sales for a whole month.
  9. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    The iPad is finally getting some traction on the enterprise side and RIM's Playbook appears to be the only real competitor in the Q1/Q2 timeframe so I can't imagine Apple not addressing those comparisons with a decent bump. As for a "late 2011" refresh - not going to happen.
  10. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    You couldn't be more wrong, they do it all the time. Every iPhone has been released that way. Announcement with a shipping date weeks out.

    Just a couple of examples: iPhone 4 announced June 7th, shipped June 24th.
    iPhone 3G(s) announced June 8th, Shipped June 19th.
    iPhone 3G announced June 7th, Shipped July 11th.

    They have also done it with their computers as well. I'm too lazy to look up the press release, but the have done it with the Mac Pro on several occasions.
  11. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Phones are a completely different product, they're on a contract and people need to plan ahead (Apple wants to expand its market share by getting people to hold off upgrading their non-iPhone phones, so of course they pre-announce). Apple will not shoot itself in the foot by pre-announcing an update to a product that's selling well. If there have been computer announcements made before they were ready for sale they were for dormant products like X-Serves.
  12. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    It's already had two releases this year...

    One for Wifi-only and one for 3G. ;)
  13. The 801 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    I believe that Apple pre announcements are due to the FCC approval process lag time for new wireless devices that would spoil Steve's fun. Once they get into the Federal approval process, it is impossible to maintain marketing secrecy that helps fuel sales.
    Once a new ipad is announced, it would hurt moving old stock, so I think you will find a quick release on announcement, and old stock in the refurb store. If any is available.
  14. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    If they take pre-orders they wouldn't be losing sales...

    Of course they are different products. But to say Apple NEVER pre-announces updates to current products is incorrect. That is what I was pointing out. Even the last iPod Touch was announced with shipping ~10 days later. And you are also incorrect on saying it has just happened with X-Serves, it has happened over their entire line at various times.

    Also I believe the main reason Apple pre-announces iPhones is not the reason you mention. It is to get the hype machine rolling. Apple relishes the hype generated of people pre-ordering, large lines at stores and special events. That is why I see the iPad releases more like that of the iPhone than other products.
  15. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I for one, hope that it happens around Feb/Mar. It is getting harder and harder to wait when I need it for work. I know I am going to regret picking one up, but I might have to resort to that.
  16. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    iPad will fallow the iPhone trend, yearly updates, so don't count on a update on the fall, sourcing the part for a device like the iPad takes time, no to mentioned certification and testing. Nothing sooner than a yearly cycle.
  17. thesmoth, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

    thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    That new motorola tablet running android honeycomb (the one designed for tablets) with a dual core processor will be BIG competition.

    Think about this, if the samsung galaxy tab is selling REALLY well, and as we can all agree is pretty crappy, how would a really great android tablet sell? Android 2.2 froyo is NOT designed for tablets, and even on smart phones isn't amazing (I have a phone with android 2.2, and it's really good in a lot of ways but not amazing).

    1) iPad 2 - dual core

    2) Blackberry playbook - dual core

    3) Motorola honeycomb tablet - dual core

    Now in my mind the iPad 2 will obviously win due to iOS, BUT the preview videos of the motorola tablet running honeycomb looked really good. Google is really bringing their android platform to a tablet form factor, unlike apple who just scaled up their smartphone platform. Honeycomb seems to have a lot of desktop style tweaks that make it seem really great.

    Honestly just for the app store I would go with the iPad 2, no question, but if I could have a honeycomb tablet with access to the apple app store, I would take that no questions asked. Apple really needs to step up and redesign the interface for the iPad version of iOS, because you cannot have an ideal tablet experience using a scaled up smartphone operating system, you MUST revamp the interface and rethink it for a tablet.

    Instead of the home screen on the iPad just being a big list of apps (now with folder, oooooh apple you shouldn't have) they should have it like the mission control feature they previewed for OS lion. Have a nice home screen with a bunch of widgets, info, apps, etc... at your fingertips.
  18. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    I don't know how well the Galaxy Tab is really selling. There are already price drops which make no sense for an item that's selling well. It could be that they've already saturated the Galaxy Tab market.
  19. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    Well they've sold over a million apparently, which is a lot to me considering it is a POS running android 2.2.
  20. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Considering that Apple is the niche player in this market I'm surprised that 9 months of pent-up demand added up to just 1MM in sales worldwide. Not a failure, but also not a blockbuster.
  21. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    I guess its not a POS if they sold over a million.
  22. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Jun 6, 2005
    As others have pointed out, Apple has done this with every iPhone. More generally, they have done this with *every iOS device with an app store*. If iPad 2 has any new features, developers are going to need a chance to prepare their apps for it. Apple has shown every indication that it wants to give them a chance to do so. So I still think a February announcement (day and date with a new SDK) with shipping ~4 weeks later is likely.

    As for the real thrust of my post—a second September refresh—I concede that this is contrary to Apple's MO. Perhaps it's a longshot. The opinion is driven, however, by my perception that the iPad is a holiday gift item in ways that the iPhone and Macs are not, and that refreshing the line prior to the holiday season would be beneficial.

    So let's just parse out that part of the question: all things being equal, do you think the iPad being refreshed in September ahead of the holidays would materially benefit sales?

    FWIW, if Apple does find a way to shift the refresh to September, I think it would stay there and be annual.
  23. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
  24. jazziethomas macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Well as we all know apple take some time before releasing a refresh on their product in order to maintain the price.
  25. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Again, have to disagree with your justification for a February announcement. Take the iPhone 4, announced on June 7th, available for pre-order a week later on the 15th, launched on the 24th June and that was with the Retina display. The only time Apple need to pre-announce something a month or more in advance is if there's a new hardware function that MUST be supported at launch, in the case of the iPhone that wasn't the case as existing apps could scale up without any problems.

    Look at the list of potential features for an iPad revision: camera support is already in the SDK as it multi-threading support if they go dual core on the processor. An increase in resolution would only really make sense if they double resolution width and height which can be dealt with by the OS with no coding changes. Gyroscope compatibility is already included, SD support (if they added a slot) is already included (just treat the slot as an adaptor)... what is there that would REQUIRE a new SDK and time for dev's to get to grips with it? Add on to that the impending release around April of iOS5 beta and I just don't see it happening, sorry.

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