Apple 'does an iPhone 4S' with new iPad: Disappointed?

Apple 'does an iPhone 4S' with new iPad: Disappointed?

Summary: Apple has given consumers and businesses alike a great deal in today's announcement, but it could be overshadowed by the seeming lack of progress in its hardware range.

TOPICS: iPad, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

What was the best we were going to hope for, really? A holodesk-style experience, or an iPad that would gently cradle you in your sleep?

Compared to the iPhone 4S, Apple has pretty much taken the smartphone, expanded it out, and created a 4G version. The company bats back and forth between the iPhone getting something new, and the iPad getting something new. It's like technological ping-pong.

It was a given that the new iPad would come with a Retina display, as did the iPhone 4S and the iPod touch. Now that the iPad has come with 4G LTE technology, it is inevitable that six months down the line the upcoming iPhone 5 will support it too. By then, 4G coverage should be greater and the networks balanced from the initial onslaught of new iPad devices on the networks.

Baffling many, Apple has not actually said what the new name for the next-generation iPad is. Did someone forget to mention it? Or is this Apple simply winding up the technology media? For all intents and purposes, it's "the new iPad", and at a push, the "iPad 3".

All in all, looking back at the announcement, how much were we really given?

The new iPad has the same design with a slightly beefed up A5X dual-core processor and quad-core graphics. It means more reactive gaming, faster processing, and also --- for what many have not considered --- a resilience to a future update to what we presume will be iOS 6 in the later part of this, or early next year.

In terms of the 4G specifications, Apple is producing two different tablets for two different networks, meaning that one cannot simply roam from AT&T to Verizon on 4G. It will work fine on 3G, and Apple claims that it has more wireless bands than any other device "of any device that has ever shipped". But it surely will play havoc for those who want to switch carrier, yet equally giving the choice of better service in one area over another.

While the battery is the same as the iPad 2, it offers 9 solid hours on a 4G connection. That's enough to last you a check-in at the airport and a flight from San Francisco to New York.

Disappointingly, the new iPad does not have Siri. It does possess a voice-dictation feature, however, which should at least bring some of the burden out of typing out a lengthy document on a rock-hard glass screen.

Siri, the ‘intelligent' voice assistant, was seen as the flagship update, but it remains only a gimmick to this day. Holding with one hand an iPhone 4S to your face to ask it something is at least somewhat more natural than holding a tablet nearly six times as big. At least Apple thought this through.

Frankly, we were all blind-sided by the iPad announcement --- which in retrospect will probably be one of the "most revolutionary products to hit the shelves in years" --- will still remains somewhat of a disappointment. Not to worry; the iPhone 4S was a busted flush when it was first announced, and look how popular it is now?

Apple sold more than 4 million devices in its first weekend alone. While the smartphone is by far its most popular product in the iOS range, with Apple selling 15.4 million iPads in the last quarter alone, it is entirely possible that the company sells a similar figure if not more this quarter as well.

What is important is that while this was not specifically marketed as an "iPad event", it was an "Apple event". So much more than the iPad was announced, including new iWorks, GarageBand, and iPhoto. Apple also announced a 1080p capable version of the next-generation Apple TV. iTunes in the Cloud was also updated to support high-definition 1080p quality content.

If we wedge it all together, while the cost remains high for the seemingly minor updates to a spattering of products, Apple has just updated half of its leading software products, and updated a key player in its hardware line-up.

Disappointed? You really shouldn't be.

Image source: Apple.


Topics: iPad, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

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  • WTF?

    A new processor, retina display, upgraded camera, LTE, better battery and just because it has the same form factor, you feel cheated?
    • Ignore them...

      The pulled the same stunt with iPhone 4S and it didn't affect sales.
    • Yeah. They should have made it round...

      ...for those who want something "completely different."
      • If anyone wants something completely different

        Well, then you could try Cleese, John et al.
  • It's no different than what other gadget makers do

    This is the trend with tablets and smartphones today. Make some quick changes and release a new model with all the hype to make people that own a previous model feel like they are inferior if they do not upgrade. I think the biggest change in the iPad 3 is the display. That could be considered a reason to upgrade. Everything else maybe not so much.
    • You don't consider a viable 4G capability significant?

      The camera update is significant as well, IMO. And all for the same retail price and keeping the same level of battery charge duration levels.
  • I feel cheated...

    ... Because now there is no number printed on the device to show my friends I am superior to them. :(
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: I feel cheated...

      My iPad 2 doesn't have a number...
    • Its funny that you say that

      Because I have run into people that have the iPhone 4S that looks pretty damn close to the iPhone 4 and have had them tell people "It is an iPhone 4[b]S[/b] Thank You very much"

      The same with the 3GS when it came out because it looked exactly like the 3G.

      Of course not all people are like that but there are some that buy the latest iGadget or even gadgets from other companies as soon as they come out just so they can brag.
      • I have a

        4s, but do not make a big deal about it just looking at it you can't even tell which one it is (iPhone 4, iPhone4 Verizon, iPhone 4 s). It is not all about showing it off, but me personally enjoying it.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • RE: I have a 4S

        @Junpin Jack Flash

        I also have an iPhone 4S and my wife has my old iPhone 4. I was going to hold out for the iPhone 5 or make the switch to WindowsPhone but my wife's old 3G was horribly slow and the screen was going bad. I wouldn't have kept using the phone brand if I didn't like it.

        I meant no personal attack with my comment on anyone but it is very true that there are people out there that buy things just so the can brag. It is just in my observations this happens more with Apple product owners than other companies.
  • Not so exciting but looks good

    Apple has the challenge is that people EXPECT more...but are happy with what they are feed. Would I go and buy one...maybe....but I don't own an iPad already. Would I buy one if I already had one...probably not. I want to see what the market comes out with that I could use with Windows 8. If none of them can compare I will buy an iPad. There are some really interesting options out there...and either a nice tablet with a 10" screen or I will go to one of those very nice Ultrabooks from Lenova, Dell? or Asus.
  • Why use the term "given"?

    "Apple has given consumers and businesses..."

    Statements like the above tend to add more fuel to the "Apple is magical, Apple is like God" fire. It's not like we're not going to pay for it you know...

    If this were a Microsoft or Google product, this is what would likely have been said:

    "Microsoft (or Google) has released...."

    No hating here but please, let's get the nuances of our writing straight.
    • Clearly you should widen your reading

      As in, check out the "pronouncements" of some of the other zdnet bloggers and you will see a similar fawning sycophant approach but with a Microsoft bent.
      • Come now, there's bias to go around

        I see quite a few Linux sycophants too. Let's just go with the mind boggling assumption that different people like different things.
  • ..And..

    ...And if you shouldn't be disappointed, you shouldn't buy it...
  • Same old song and dance my friend

    This model of small increments at full price has been played for decades in the computer industry. IBM set the pace and it's rarely ever changed... (once in a while you see someone breakout with something but they quickly fall in line) Apple is no exception. Apple finally learned the game from others and is now gotten the "death march" profit machine finely honed.
  • I don't understand...

    ...what people want. I wanted a retina display. Sure, it's not a surprise, but I am in no way disappointed. You realize right that 2048*1536 is nearly the highest resolution display of any computer anywhere right? And they put it in a 10inch tablet without raising the price.

    What on earth do people want more remarkable than that? For crying out loud. I want to read a book on my ipad and I want it to look as clear as paper. They made that, they're calling it the new ipad and it only costs 500 bucks.

    What on earth do you people who are always disappointed want???
  • Incremental

    I feel it is an incremental update at best. Of course they had to update the hardware, it was becoming inferior, now it's back on par, maybe a bit better.

    Its a nice tablet, but the user experience will be very much the same and not much better.

    I'm dead serious, and i'm not overly impressed.
  • Sorry, you're just not their audience

    The tech crowd loves novelty. If the iPad transformed into a 42" television, could be broken into four phones and could anticipate your needs with biometrics, even if those features barely worked and were superfluous, the blogs would be all abuzz. A refined version of the same thing people have been happily using for years? Booorrrrriinnnng.

    The fact that it's called the iPad -- not the iPad 3, or the iPad HD, or the iPad Supernova Blastron Ultra X2 SE -- should make it clear that this is simply the new baseline. Nowhere did Apple say "You must dump your six-month-old iPad 2 and buy this immediately!" But it does mean that every person who wants a new iPad will be getting a better version of the thing people are already buying in the millions. Apple isn't playing the game you guys are playing, and that's why they're doing so well.