Last night Apple announced the release of the latest in its tablet range, the new iPad. This device looks and feels and does much the same as its predecessors, yet there are several significant upgrades to the system that will excite fans.
The new iPad now includes LTE and HSPA connectivity and a retina display to blow away its predecessor.
The Retina display on the new iPad features 44% greater colour saturation in the same 9.7 inch space as iPad 2, which equates to four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV.
This new device has been billed in the run-up to its releases as the iPad HD, yet the new iPad is not actually HD; it does not sport an HD screen at all, it is a 2k one. This is essentially like HD with extra wheels; HD resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, while the new Apple display is 2048 x 1536, or 264 pixels per inch, or a heft of 3.1 million pixels, which is known in digital cinema circles as 2k.
However, this is not about Apple being extremely generous; the reason for the need for this extra pixilation is due to the distance you view the screen at, which is also why the iPhone 4S has a higher pixel count than this new iPad, as you view it closer so you need a tighter pixel display to get the HD effect.
With LTE connectivity, Apple has angled itself closer to US operators who are already using the 4G technology, claimed Andy Castonguay, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
He stated: 'Strategically, the most important updates were those made to its wireless technology, adding a strong array of mobile connectivity including HSPA+ for global markets and LTE, initially targeting the US market. The addition of LTE will provide the new version with considerable marketing support from US mobile operators AT&T and Verizon Wireless as they continue their efforts to drive greater adoption of their 4G networks. Given the considerable increase in pricing tiers for the new iPad, mobile operator subsidies and marketing support will be important to sustain Apple's tablet sales trajectory.'
iPad users accounted for 83% of all US tablet users in 2011, according to eMarketer. Yet Apple's marketshare is expected to shrink slightly in 2012 as more devices flood the market. eMarketer estimates more than 41 million people in the US (76.4% of the US tablet market) will use an iPad at least once per month in 2012, up from 28 million people in 2011. The total US tablet market is expected to rise to 54.8 million in 2012, up 62.8% from 33.7 million in 2011, according to eMarketer.
Continuing, Castonguay added: 'Apple's much hyped new third generation iPad is well positioned to maintain the company's dominant market leadership among tablet manufacturers. The latest or 'new' iPad maintains strong fidelity to its familiar form factor, despite market rumours about the potential introduction of smaller formats. After all, why change the format when it continues to be the most coveted tablet on the planet?'
The new device also includes a A5X chip with quad core graphics to drive the retina display, with the same smoothness and fluidity iPad is known for. Even with all that extra oomph, the new iPad still gets an amazing 10 hours of battery life.
It also includes Apple's five megapixel iSight camera. Designed with advanced optics, it allows the user to shoot photos and 1080p HD video.
Castonguay concluded: 'Apple's addition of LTE connectivity, a superb new HD display, and faster processing power on top of its market leading applications offering and fervent user base will maintain Apple's status as the primary standard bearer in the tablet ecosystem.'
eMarketer stated that about 8.9% of the US population used an iPad in 2011, up from just 3.7% in 2010. This year, about 13.2% of the population will use the device at least once per month, the research firm said.
Smart Chimps gets her banana's-worth in: The Apple fans among you will always be wildly turned on at the thought of a sexy new gadget to add to your fruit bowl, which is spiffing. However, I think we all expect big, amazing things when Apple has a launch, which makes this tablet and iPhone 4S both damp squibs in comparison to earlier releases. While this fancy retina screen and LTE and HSPA+ connectivity are cool, they aren't revolutionary in comparison to some of Apple's previous launches. Let's hope the iPhone 5 release later this year isn't just iPhone 4.3….