The iPad, just as Apple’s Steve Jobs predicted, has changed the face of computing. Some analysts predict that in 5 to 10 years, almost all desktop and laptop computers will be replaced by tablet devices. In the same way, smartphones have revolutionized cell phones, tablets, and particularly the iPad…and these devices are already revolutionizing computing.
While the tablet business has been brisk for Apple, it hasn’t been as lucrative for some. Hewlitt-Packard recently announced it would leave the computer hardware business entirely, including its tablet business. HP recently sold out its 16GB HP Touchpad for the jaw-dropping, basement price of $99.
Outside of Apple, Amazon is probably the company most aggressive about the tablet business, and Amazon expects to sell 3 to 5 million tablets by 2012. Still, the king of the tablet throne is Apple’s iPad, and rumors are already circulating around the next version of that device. We’ve done some investigation and here’s what the iPad 3 could offer and when you can expect it:
iPad 3′s screen resolution and possibly its size will be increased. The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch screen and 1024 x 768 resolution – the same as the first-generation iPad. A retina display (like the iPhone 4) with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 is rumored to be in the works for the iPad 3.
The iPad has also taken knocks for its glossy screen. Sure, it looks great, but the glare can be a real problem when trying to read a book or play a game. Amazon’s Kindle features a matte-like screen that diffuses light rather than reflecting it; Apple could offer a version of the iPad 3 with anti-glare.
The camera on the iPad 2 is less than 1 megapixel. Frankly, it’s appalling that such a cutting-edge device has such an outdated camera. Rumors suggest that the iPad 3 camera resolution will be significantly improved.
In addition to hardware upgrades, Apple insiders also point to a new or updated iPad operating system. Ideally, this OS would be released just prior to the iPad 3 release, and original iPad and iPad 2 owners would also benefit from the update. iOS 5 is already slated for release this fall.
Currently, the iPad requires an adapter (which must be bought separately) in order to connect the device to your flatscreen or to view pictures on the device you’ve taken with a separate camera. Some analysts have said a next-generation iPad may at least have HDMI out. However Apple insiders have ruled this out, because the addition of another output would increase the cost of hardware, which is something Apple is not fond of doing.
Release Date & New iPad Retailer
Apple’s hardware release pattern is somewhat predictable, at least it was until component manufacturers located in Japan, China and other Asian regions were affected by this past year’s tsunami. But most analysts look to a Spring 2012 iPad 3 release. Here’s why: A newly forged relationship with communications provider Sprint, which is rumored to be getting iPad distribution rights in 2012. Also, Apple has a tendency to release devices well in advance of the holiday season (usually during spring or early summer) to allow consumer demand to build for almost an entire year. In addition, Apple will not want to cannibalize sales of the iPhone 5, which drops in September. Apple will want that device to have all the limelight possible well into the end of this year.
Developing For The Future
As the computer hardware industry changes to embrace tablets, the development community must change, too. Almost all tablets not made by Apple are driven by the Android OS, and apps are the primary way to experience content. Learning app development or the Android OS could help you get your foot in the door of the tablet revolution. It’s a revolution that’s already well underway.
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