Richi Jennings

New iPad 3: Apple fails to surprise

March 08, 2012 6:00 AM EST
new iPad invitation Here's the new iPad (not the 'iPad 3') from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Release date is March 16. Aside from the name, not much else was a surprise (except to those who backed the wrong rumors). In IT Blogwatch, bloggers blog the new pomaceous shiny.
[Update 4: Apple's new iPad is coming to Sprint's new LTE network, apparently]
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: What sort of village is this?..
Gregg Keizer reports:
Much of what Apple executives unveiled had been heavily speculated the weeks leading up to today's launch event. ... Apple CEO Tim Cook...hammered home the theme that tablets are the future of computing.
The new iPad...boasts a much sharper screen...offers twice the graphics punch, and supports the LTE networks. ... Apple has retained the prices of 2011's iPad 2. ... The iPad will ship March 16 in the U.S.,..Canada [and eight other countries]. ... Apple will begin to take pre-orders for the iPad today.
Other additions...included an improved 5-megapixel camera borrowed from the iPhone [4], and a Siri-like dictation mode. ... Last year's iPad 2 will live on...[at] a $100 discount.    M0RE
Paul Taylor sounds disappointed:
Apple didn’t bother to number its creation. The new iPad will simply be called “new iPad”...maybe because there really isn’t that much new to it. ... The pixel-per-inch count is 264...a long shot from the iPhone's 330PPI, but it’ll still be stunning to look at. ... Apple says this particular panel has 40 percent more saturation.
The iPad’s A5X doesn’t seem to be much more than a stronger graphics performer than its predecessor...doubling the number of graphics cores. ... Apple’s Philip [it's] “four times as powerful as the Tegra 3”. Those are fighting words. ... Apple is preparing to take on a tidal wave of...tablet PCs...and only putting the ‘pad to the bench will reveal if Apple’ prove true.    M0RE
Jonny Evans is similarly surprised:
I want to have a little moan about the new iPad's name: "The new iPad". ... I can already see the executive team laughing the Apple writers...wisely bowed their heads and, with sagacious fallacy, intoned..."It will be the iPad 2 HD, the iPad HD, the iPad 3".

[Nobody] would ever have believed [Apple] would christen the future of its post-PC ambition "the new iPad". They did.    M0RE
And Dan Frommer talks pricing:
Sure, Amazon's Kindle Fire is cheaper in total dollars. ... But the iPad's value is much higher. ... And don't overlook the importance of the price-cut iPad 2. ... Many of those would-be buyers will end up spending another $100...on a new iPad, once they...have had a chance to see the retina display.
[For] the majority of the people who buy it, it will be their first iPad - not their second or third. ... Apple could potentially sell 80 million iPads this year.    M0RE

I thought I heard Ken Mingis swearing; it seems I was right:
I've never had as much trouble getting an order through as I did today. ... I click the button. Nothing happens. I click it again...but it's not getting through. ... About 10 minutes later, I get in again, get to the check-out page and then nothing happens.
[I try to] put in my order over the phone. ... After about 20 minutes a perky woman...asks me to try again later. ... A half hour goes by. I call again. This time I get...something about a heavy volume of calls. ... Ya think? This could not come as a surprise at Apple, right?
By now, I have three browser windows hung up at various points of the ordering process. ... "service unavailable" ... "service unavailable" ... "service unavailable." ... Not so silently, I curse.    M0RE

Update: Meanwhile, Martin Bryant brings worrying news:
[S]hipping dates...are starting to slip. ... If you were planning on securing a white...iPad on AT&T...on 16 March, you may be disappointed...two of the three storage options...have dropped back to 19 March.
Jonathan Geller...has run with...‘Apple sells out of AT&T iPads already...which isn’t quite accurate – yet. ... [If] you’re looking to get the device...on day’d better get your skates on...other models will follow suit.    M0RE

Update 2: Mikey Campbell has more bad news for LTE aficionados:
[It's] incompatible with the radio frequencies [used] outside of the U.S. and Canada...meaning that...the device may not be compatible with other countries' 4G frequencies.
According to Apple U.K.'s info page, [it] will support the 700MHz and 2100MHz LTE bands...which don't match the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz LTE bands [used in] Europe...[because it] uses Qualcomm's MDM9600 baseband chip. ... Japan's iPad Wi-Fi + 4G model doesn't even have LTE support.
Apple [is] forced to make separate models...which is why the AT&T version is incompatible with Verizon.    M0RE

Update 3: Jonny Evans looks waaay ahead:
[S]urely the Oompa-Loompas inside the Cupertino dream factory can't hold this lead forever?
[B]rand loyalty, customer satisfaction, after-sales satisfaction and make the Apple product desirable. ... Apple has over 130,000 points of sale. ... Apple's online store is one of the busiest online shopping portals on the planet.
It's not enough to toss a few components together to create a tablet wannabe in hope customers will flock. ... Each detail of product design must be informed by the end user experience...the inclusion of stuff people don't want serves to reduce the user experience.
Apple develops insanely simple software expressions of complex most cases beyond initial set-up users don't have to get involved in the technical nitty-gritty. ... Apple's simplicity matches the zeitgeist.
Apple's competitors can't beat an iPad on price, distribution or ecosystem. ... Those noisy Android fans may want to bear in mind that Apple has been assembling the foundations for its...success since 2000.    M0RE

Update 4: Brad Molen gets this anonymous tip:
If you were keeping score...on Wednesday, you noticed [that AT&T and Verizon...will get the new iPad, but what about Sprint? ... Well, if our eyes dost not deceive us...the new iPad for Sprint has arrived in Best Buy's internal inventory system.
Eh, we wouldn't count on it showing up...soon. But is it possible that Sprint will have Apple's iconic tablet ready to go...when it launches its multi-billion-dollar 4G investment?    M0RE
And Finally...
What sort of village is this?
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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcherRichi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.