Should we be waiting for the iPad 3? post-event reflections

With the Apple iPad 2 launch celebrations over and sobriety kicking back, one reflects back over the last 24 hours and what exactly Apple and Steve Jobs brought to the table – is the iPad 2 worth the ugprade or should we be waiting for the iPad 3?

Apple iPad 2

Oh yes, something never changes when it comes to the Apple rumor mill which has quickly gone on to speculate in what Apple is planning next. Although product development never grinds to a stop in the offices in Cupertino, one has to wonder sometimes how likely it is that we will see two iPad upgrades in less than a year, as per some of the iPad 3 rumors going around.

First of all we need to look at what is part of the great success that is Apple. I was having this discussion with some former colleagues over lunch today, talking about how often people normally upgrade their laptops. We all agreed that most of the times we are looking at a 2-3 year cycle. So why is it then that Apple are so good at convincing us that we need to upgrade our gadgets every year? Is it a status thing that makes us need to have the latest version all the time?

One thing is for sure, there is no flaw or anything like that in the products from Apple that makes us have to upgrade every year. Even the firmware upgrades usually are compliant at least for 2 year old models. There is no doubt that the people working for Apple are doing a great job at convincing us that we should have this latest “revolutionary” upgrade, delivering just enough to make us want it without compromising on demand for future upgrades. Carefully managing the product lifecycle and competitors to stay just that one step ahead of the rest.

Lets take a look at the iPad 2 for example that was launched yesterday. With Apple securing around 90% marketshare in the tablet market, an area that many competitors a year ago said would never take off, and where they are now chasing each other to deliver the next “iPad killer”. A year later, and several high quality Android based tablets later, all Apple has to do is make sure that the iPad 2 is slightly better than its predecessor, making it just that bit thinner, lighter, and faster to again win back the total attention of the consumer.

Part of the genius behind it is that Apple has done the upgrade, delivered enough, and done it without raising prices. The result is that they are delivering a product that is considered among the better in the market spec wise, has the largest selection of apps to download, and on top of it all, is actually more affordable then many of its new competitors. Now that is clever marketing!

Personally, the main reason for upgrading to the iPad 2 at the moment is actually the addition of the front facing camera, all the other new and improved features are a bonus. Many current iPad owners are probably reflecting on whether or not it is worth upgrading at the moment, or if they should stick with their original iPad and wait for the iPad 3. My guess is that many of you will upgrade, in which case we have provided a few tips in terms of using your old iPad to part-fund your iPad 2.

As for those of you waiting for the iPad 3 with some amazing new features later this year, i hope that it will come, but based on yesterdays iPad 2 announcement with Apple referring to “2011 is the year of the iPad 2″ i would not bank on it. Will Apple have a trick or two up their sleeve come September when it is time to upgrade their iPod line up again? most likely, and some rumors have it as an iOS device that sits somewhere between the current iPad 2 and the iPod Touch. What features such as device might or might not receive is unknown, but we might get some answers come this summer when the iPhone 5 will see the light of day.

One thing is for sure; life is never dull in Appleville!


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