Every year when Apple announces a new iPad or iPhone, I like to make a few predictions, and then see how close I was after the fact. Now, the first Apple announcement (Second if you count the new iBook text book app) is on the calendar. March 7th we will see what the next generation of iPad is like. I’ve been doing a little reading on the blogs, and here are some predictions.
Generally, I predict a lot of grumbling. The iPad 3 (If it is called that), when compared to the iPad 2, will be similar to the iPhone 4S in difference from the iPhone 4. The iPad 2 is still outselling everything else, and is a capable device. Still, for those of us with 1st generation iPads, the iPad 3 will be a nice upgrade.
I think the iPad 3 (or maybe iPad HD?) will finally get a retina display. I like the display in the current model, but there is a difference in that and the iPhone 4/4S. I’m looking forward the the retina display on the iPad.
Speed/Processor-wise, I think the iPad 3 (or iPad 2S?) will have a slightly faster processor. I’ve been seeing images of a new A5 chip. Like the A5x, or something. I don’t think we will see a huge leap forward. I’ll bet it does the same sort of things that the iPhone 4S does. I don’t expect a big jump in cores or anything radical.
Home Button: There have been some rumors about Apple finally getting rid of the Home button. I am unsure about this. I’d hate to see it gone. If they did remove it, the the next gen of iOS would have to add some gestures to replace the functions.
IOS: Rumor has it that there are already devices running iOS6 out there. I suspect we will see further implementation of Siri and maybe a few extra tweaks. Nothing major here either, except added gestures if the Home button goes away.
Pricing and Size: I think the pricing will remain the same for similar sized offerings. I’d love to see a 128GB model, but that may still be a long shot. There are rumors that there may be a new version of the iPad 2, and 8GB version. This is similar to the iPhone 3GS, or 4, when newer models came out. Apple continued to offer a lower end model with smaller storage for less cost. It is possible that the iPad 3, or whatever it all be called, will just be an high resolution version of what already is offered, with a premium price tag, but that isn’t what Apple normally does.
One more thing: It’s time to upgrade the Apple TV. Supplies have grown short, and the rumors are flying. I expect at the very least a 1080 capable machine. If there are any new streaming components in iOS6, these will be integrated here. I would love to see an app based TV store where I can download network apps and content from creators, some free and some pay or subscription based.
There have been a lot of rumors about an actual TV set from Apple. They could roll this out, but it’s a long shot. In over to really compete in this market they would need multiple sizes of TV, and would have to keep the cost down. It’s much simpler to build a box that plugs into a monitor of any size. If they were to enter the TV market, expect the set to have all the Apple Tv features, plus a Bluetooth keyboard and wireless trackpad for gestures support.