Thursday, March 3, 2011

Obligatory iPad 2 Post

So the iPad 2 is out! Well, okay, not until March 11th, but now we know all about it: front-and-back cameras, dual core processor, thinner, lighter, chock-full of extra goodness -- at the same price. I confess that I enjoyed watching Mr. Jobs and his friends showing it off and rubbing some of their success in the competition's face: 100M iBooks downloads, 200M Apple accounts, 100M iPhones, and there was a killer line about iPad pricing: "ask our competition what they think of our pricing now".

I wonder if the iPad 2 will also emit the same mysterious energy rays that apparently turned me into a Fanboi.

As nice as the iPad 2 is, I don't think I'm going to jump in and buy 4 of them for my family. Or even 1 of them just for me. If I were filthy rich, I would ... but I'm not filthy rich. It's a little hard to justify dropping that kind of money again, with rumors of an iPad 3 in 4Q 2011.

It leads me to speculate on Apple's overall biz plan. I don't think I'm the only Happy iPad Owner who isn't going to mindlessly upgrade. Maybe the iPad 2 is targetted at all of those people who last year said "the iPad looks nice, but I'm going to wait until they release one with a camera". Surprise! To misquote Roy Batty: it's "time to buy".

I might change my mind and decide to buy one, but even if I do, I'm going to wait until after March 11 to see what the public consensus is. Just me being paranoid. If iPad 2 turns out to have some design flaw -- using FaceTalk too much makes it explode, say -- I'd rather read about it than experience it. If iPad 2 really is "a completely new design", then they completely new designed it awfully damn fast. Short product cycles make me nervous.

I have high hopes for iPad 3 (which is, I know, rumor-ware at best). But (again, speculating about what Apple marketing is thinking) I'm guessing the iPad 3 will be the one that's intended to make iPad 1 owners switch. My best guess is that it'll have a Retina display -- which would be totally awesome but it's the kind of change that ripples down into each and every little subcomponent and will probably raise the price. But I'd almost certainly pay for it. And I would rather wait for it to be done correctly than settle for a bugged-up rush job.

All that said, the part of the announcement that got me really excited was towards the end, which can be summarized as "iMovie for iPad: $4.99; Garage Band for iPad: $4.99".

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