Not all iPad 2s are created equal

Not all iPad 2s are created equal

Summary: Testing has revealed that the $399 iPad 2 being sold by Apple has a new chipset that gets better battery life than before.

TOPICS: iPad, Mobility

When Apple rolled out the 'new' iPad, or iPad 3 as many call it, it slapped competitors with the news it would still sell the 'old' iPad 2. That slap was due to the low price of $399, making the iPad 2 a solid tablet for a budget price. The folks at AnandTech have discovered that Apple has improved the battery life of the iPad 2 for that budget price.

Testing shows the refreshed iPad 2 has a new A5 chipset that is thinner, resulting in improved battery life compared to the older chip. In AnandTech's testing, the newer iPad 2 can get as much as 30 percent better battery life when playing games, a function that hits the battery hard.

Unfortunately, buying an iPad 2 now doesn't guarantee you get the better iPad, as inventories of the older model are still around. There is no way to tell whether your newly purchased iPad 2 is an older model or the refreshed model without taking it out of the box and checking for the new model (iPad 2,4).

Those wanting to make sure they get the new improved iPad 2 may want to hold off with the purchase for a while to give time for the older models to get sold. The older iPad 2 is a good deal at $399, the improved one even more so.

Image credit: AnandTech

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Topics: iPad, Mobility

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  • Okay Question

    This is good and all but what about the news that Tablet Sales fell of dramatically last quarter. I would think that is more important for a mobile blogger.
    • sales always drop after the holiday quarter

      That's not big news. Sales were still very good for tablets anyway.
      • What?

        3 Days ago PC World was going to collapse because if Tablet sales and now less than stellar Tablet sales aren't big news but, a new chipset in the old iPad is?
      • PC World the magazine or "the" PC World?

        Peter Perry
        Also "if" tablet sales or "of" tablet sales? Finally and most important of all who said that? Was it James or another?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Stop twisting James' point.

        @ Peter Perry - shipments dropped, not necessarily sales. But it has nothing to do with James' topic. James' point is that Apple quietly did a really minor upgrade to the iPad 2. When Apple released the iPad 2, they sold original iPads until they ran out. They were no longer making the original iPad. This time around, they are making both the iPad 2 and the new iPad. If you want an iPad 2, to get one at $100 less than the new iPad, James is saying to wait. The increase in battery life would be worth it the wait.
    • Volume!?! Again!

      See this is where PROFIT comes in. If you make good money on each sale a drop in volume hurts far less than if you don't. Besides a quarter after the holiday season does not a trend make:)

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • Well...

      I helped tablet sales this quarter....

      And I didn't buy some POS Android tablet either...
      • I helped Tablet Sales as well...

        I bought my wife a new iPad and I bought the Superior Sony Tablet S.
    • Yeah but...

      Are you talking about sales or shipped? The fourth quarter 2011 had extremely high devices shipped. But not all inventory was sold. So if you have say 1 million devices shipped in 2011 to meet the expected holiday demand but say only 250,000 sold. Then for the first quarter of 2012, they shipped only 750,000, that is a drop in shipment. But you can still sell 1.6 million the first quarter 2012, but shipments were down and sales are up.

      For shipped: 28.2 million shipped fourth quarter 2011. 17.4 million shipped first quarter 2012.

      For sales, Apple has sales very close to the numbers shipped (they were back- logged). Apple shipped 15.4 million last quarter 2011, but only shipped 11.8 million first quarter 2012, but they were backlogged this year. For the Kindle Fire, sales (not shipped) were 1.8 million sold. It didn't drop that much.

      Please don't mix up shipped and sold. Shipments went down 38% but it does not say sales were down. Sales are up first quarter, its just that the shipped channel was still flooded (inventory in a warehouse). Only Apple didn't have enough inventory to sell. That seems to have been corrected. Now it only 3-5 days delayed, down from the 2 - 3 week delays around launch date. Also remember, the new iPad came out in March, so sales from Apple had one month counted and iPad sales slowed prior to announcement of they new iPad. I don't know where you got sales are really down, do you have reference for sales (not shipped)?
  • $399... budget price?! LOL

    i almost keeled over laughing at that remark.... seriously $199 is budget price, NOT $399, even if it IS an iPad
    • 399$ is budget

      for a good tablet, considering it's a 20% rebate from the original price.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • for a good tablet

        the iPad 2 is not one of those. I have one I keep for development testing and compared to what an Android tablet can do, the Android always wins.
      • Based on sales figures and customer satisfaction I'd have

        to say your opinion while valid for you is not true for others. Sales of android tablets alone seem to verify my statement that and iPad2 sales numbers as well as how well it's customers like the iPad:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Features are not all-important

        My sister has an android tablet that came out around the time of the iPad 2. Hers has problems, mine does not.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • Was the Yugo "budget" priced or just cheap (in soooo many ways)

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • What planet is $399 not budget?

      Not on this planet. If you look at tablet prices going back a decade or more... way before there was anything called an iPad, you'll see that $400, or even $500 was unheard of for a quality device! Most of us tablet users were paying $1000 or more, whether our tablets were Windows XP or Windows CE.

      You are correct in mentioning the $200 price range. I've owned several older Android tablets in that price range. They were all junk and shouldn't even be compared to a high quality tablet like the iPad 2.
  • Now back to the story... It's a win/win!

    For the average consumer and Apple. Apple gets to keep purchasing components in volume getting the absolute best price by keeping even older equipment up to date so to speak. I would wager that the same could be found in the iPhone 3gs and iPhone 4. Using the same tech even in older models means purchasing in greater volumes and there for better prices from suppliers. The consumer benefits by getting better performance and Apple benefits in supply chain efficiencies. BRILLIANT!!!

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • So Jim....

    Why did Apple do it? Was it to improve on the quality or could they get the better battery for the same price? I'm betting the latter.
    • And so......?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • Not "better battery" rather "better battery life"...

      It was clear in the article that the result of better battery life was due to chipset improvements. It was not clear if that chipset might be shared with other Apple products, and maybe the reason was economy of scale, sharing components over a wider range of products. Why did Apple do it? Again, no statement in the article, but obviously helps keep Apple competitive (granted, still not a $199 tablet, but certainly less expensive than before for the iPad2). And, if you get the redesigned one, now better battery life.