11 reasons NOT to buy an iPad 2 (including 6 that haven't changed from the iPad 1)

Summary:Face it. If you're foaming at the mouth over the iPad 2, you already have an iPad.

The rumor mills are having a field day. Our own Larry Dignan reports on reports that Apple may be introducing the iPad 2 on March 2. The tech industry groupthink known collectively as Techmeme has lost its collective mind.

Into this insanity must come some reason, and with that reason must come reasons. In this article, I present five completely new reasons not to buy an iPad 2, along with six reasons that sadly survive from my earlier article about the original iPad, 9 reasons you might NOT want to give an iPad this Christmas.

I can feel the love already, but remember: making money is a lot of work. You should keep it in your pocket and only share it with Apple if it'll buy you something you need. Just because you've been hypnotized by Apple's hype is not a good reason to lose $500-800 bucks. Trust me on this. I've been there.

Before I try to put the sanity back in the bottle, let me remind you that -- at least as of today -- the iPad 2 is just rumor. So when I tell you these things, they're based on the best rumors available, purveyed by the very best of the rumor purveyors in the land.

Once we've seen the child of light, for real, we'll know more. In the meantime, let's get started.

Reason 1: The iPad 3 is coming

Yes, last time I said not to buy an iPad because the iPad 2 was on the horizon. Now, I'm telling you not to buy an iPad 2 because the iPad 3 is on the way. There's a reason.

All indications are that the iPad 2 is a mere mid-season design refresh, shrinking the size a bit, adding a camera where a camera was always expected, and keeping the display the same.

Apparently, Apple couldn't get the Retina display ready in time for a spring launch, so they're just going ahead with a paen to the masses, and launching the iPad 2.

Mark my words: if you get an iPad 2 now, you'll be deeply disappointed when the iPad 3 comes out.

Reason 2: Steve Jobs may not be hands-on

Update: Slight lack of sleep here. Verizon does have an iPad, so don't expect to see AT&T-only as an issue. Updated Reason 2 to reflect a possible lack of obsessive adult supervision.

Steve Job's fingerprints have been on virtually all Apple products released in the last decade. His obsessive attention to detail has been responsible for the exceptional fit and finish unique to Apple products, but also for some of the quirks and limitations.

With Jobs on medical leave, the same level of care and attention may not be taken for this next generation of products. Apple claims Jobs is still running the show, but if the poor guy's sick, he just may not be able to be as hands-on as he used to be -- and the question is whether that will impact the quality and overall vision of the products.

For reasons far more than just Apple products, we hope Jobs gets well, soon.

Next: Reasons 3-5 »

« Previous: Reasons 1-2

Reason 3: No removable storage

The rumor mongers ran amok over the past few weeks with the theory that the iPad 2 would have an SD slot. This, of course, violates Apple's basic Gestapo approach to hardware design, and was unlikely to be part of the iPad 2.

Now, the rumoristas are reporting that there won't be an SD card slot, removing any practical, non-camera advantage of the iPad 2 over the original iPad.

Reason 4: You already have an iPad

Face it. If you're foaming at the mouth over the iPad 2, you already have an iPad. It's just an obvious point. If you haven't already purchased an iPad, then you have some control over your purchase urges and you'll wait and see what the market has in store.

But if you're reading this, getting more and more worked up, shaking your fist, and screaming, "Gewirtz!" into the drop ceiling of your mom's basement, then you already have an iPad.

The iPad 2 is the same machine. Sure, there might be a little more RAM and it might hurt your tiny, little hands a little less to lift it, but that's about it. Yes, we're hearing there's a camera, but the sad truth is that if you're one of those rabid Apple fanbois still living in your mom's basement, no one other than your mom wants to see your face.

Save your money.

Reason 5: Competition

Without a doubt, every electronics manufacturer has noticed the insane success of the iPad. To Apple's credit, none of them has managed to compete on both functionality and price. As our own Jason Perlow reports, no one else has Apple's supply chain advantage.

But the past doesn't equal the future and there will undoubtedly be interesting competitors, especially coming from the HP/Palm partnership and from the Android world. Sure, there will be horrid, little Android tablets littering the land, but there will eventually be real contenders.

At that point, you might want to look for an open device that will allow you to use your hardware the way you want, without Mommy Apple holding your hand all the way.

Well, except for you angry Mac fans living in the basement. We know your story.

Next: Reasons 6-11 »

« Previous: Reasons 3-5

Reasons 6-11: The more things stay the same

No matter how exciting it is that Apple's introducing a new product, and no matter how much you think any Apple introduction should be enshrined as a national holiday, the fact is that this promotional event is merely that: promotional.

Much of the iPad's original limitations are still out there. I draw your attention back to my original 9 reasons article and present to you a short list of iPad disappointments that probably will still remain disappointments:

  • Reason 6: There’s still no USB port
  • Reason 7: You still have to use iTunes
  • Reason 8: There’s still no way to wirelessly synchronize your bookmarks
  • Reason 9: Kindles are still much less expensive
  • Reason 10: You can still only run software approved by Apple
  • Reason 11: It still can’t be used as a standalone computer

So there you go. Eleven reasons. If you haven't bought an iPad, the iPad 2 might be a worthwhile buy, especially if you want to spend $600 on the very best Angry Birds game console ever created.

But if you already have an iPad, save your money. Some day, your mom may insist you move out and you'll need that money for rent (or to buy an iPad 3).

TalkBack below. I know, I know. Just drink some soothing tea and it'll all be better soon.

Topics: Processors, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Software

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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