Tomorrow is the big announcement. Lots of questions remain about just what Tim Cook and Company have dreamt up for us all to spend our money on.
It’s silly and counter-productive to make guesses for any reason other than the ability to pat one’s self on the back should one of them come true. I’m going to do it anyway, because it seems like such fun.
What is the name? Will it be the iPad 2S? The iPad 3? Or the iPad HD? I don’t think it’ll be the “2S.” The retina display screen is too big a change to make it a point release. This is a new thing and needs a new name. I think it’ll just be the iPad 3, though the iPad HD fits in well with the multimedia platform Apple is trying to sell to its customers tomorrow. Here’s what I mean:
The AppleTV will get a refresh tomorrow, too. Will they call it the AppleTV HD? Only if the iPad gets the same name? For branding purposes, it’s not a bad idea. I mean, the big difference between the AppleTV 2 and 3 will be that the screen resolution peaks at 1080 instead of 720. It’s not that big a deal, but Apple will need to sell that hard. The important thing is, it’ll synch up beautifully with the iPad.
When can I buy these announced products? You might get a hint by looking at when Apple’s website is telling you new stock of the AppleTV will be in:
That’s March 10th, which is Saturday. This would lend credence to the idea that everything will be released in a hurry on Friday the 9th. The more conservative 16th of March estimate is still in play, too. But would Apple coordinate their release schedule with South by Southwest and get it out this weekend? I kinda doubt it, but it seems like good timing. I remain hopeful for a March 9th release date.
What will the price point be? Same as it ever was. How they’ll manage that with a new more powerful chip and a screen that’ll suck the power and battery life out of the system, I do not know. Tim Cook is great at managing the supply chain, but this is a whole new level of craziness. I’m betting against the iPad 3 having as good a camera as the iPhone 4S. I don’t think it needs it. I think the best camera you’ll see on the device is the one capable of providing a 1080p video stream. That’s all it needs.
What about software announcements? Apple is going after the Chinese market these days. They’re aiming at education. And they want the enterprise market, if they can get it without going too crazy. And for that last reason, I believe we’ll see Microsoft on stage to demo Word/Excel/PowerPoint for iPad. Actually, I bet they skip the PowerPoint one, as it would be embarrassing to talk about the PowerPoint app while using Keynote in the on-stage demo. It’ll be mumbled at the end of the announcement.
Will the iPad 2 stick around? Yes, I believe it will. I have to think that the supply chain for that is so refined at this point using parts that are so cheap that it’s an easy profit for Apple to make with a lower-priced device, even if it’s just sold to the education market. (Even if the Retina Display screen’s killer feature is text reading and selling the old screen to educators and students seems kind of rude.)
Any other surprises? If I knew, they wouldn’t be a surprise. What’s the craziest, most outlanding prediction I could make here? How about a new springboard? Nah. . . That’s the kind of thing we’d see in iOS 6 and iPhone 5, at the earliest.
I’m just excited about it this year because I’ll be getting one, at last. So expect a full review both here and at ComicBookResources.com when I get there…