The news has been awash this week with Apple’s announcement that the iPad2 was being released mid-March 2011. As usual the industry press and “fanboi’s” were all over this like bees to a honey pot – and ironically that’s exactly what I believe this product is, in anticipation of the next iPad Apple is surely developing.
There is quite a bit of information here that leads to the conclusion, so for those of you with a shorter attention span, might want to fast-forward to the end of this post.
Steve Jobs’ Mind Control
If you listen to Steve Jobs’ presentations (see iPad2 presentation) you’ll see he’s a clever salesman. Using his stature and choice of words is almost akin to the techniques that Hitler used to incite many German’s. Not that I’m saying that Mr Jobs should be viewed like he is a modern day Hitler; just his technique has parallels, with clearly different intent.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- “When we said the iPad was magical, people laughed at us. But it’s turned out to be magical.” – setting the scene; “us against the world”, then reaffirm position
- “They’re taking advantage of this incredible, magical UI.” – Using positive enforcement
- “Fantastic games, a lot of apps for business and vertical markets. The things people are doing here are amazing.” – more positive enforcement, creating a sense of excitement
“Having built in all this stuff, one of the striking things about the iPad 2 is that’s dramatically thinner. 33% thinner.” – Use of the word “striking” suggests he’s “one of us” looking at the product for the first time
- “The new iPad 2 is thinner than your iPhone 4.” – you DID buy an iPhone, right? You are part of our “inner circle”, right?
- “When you get your hands on one, it feels totally different.” – Once someone picks up a product, their purchasing potential goes way up. This is basically programming people to go to a store… so you will buy one.
- “This has been tried and tested… iPads get 10 hours of battery life.” – doesn’t every product get tried and tested? Yes, but this is a phrase associated with things that we know are true; used to suggest that significant effort has been made. Significant effort = perception of quality.
The reason I mention the delivery of Jobs’ keynote is because of its’ intent. Combine the setting with the person and their persona, the words they use, the means of delivery including attire (you don’t see him wearing a suit on purpose) and the audience participation causes GroupThink excitement. It becomes infectious and makes you want to believe in the Church of Steve.
This is all done to help sales in anticipation of the next generation iPad (yes, you read that right).
Apple’s Product Pattern
Look at the iPhone and the excitement around that; consider each version (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4) and how each version incrementally delivers new or updated features. Do you remember the anger and frustration that was made by iPhone 3G users when 3GS was launched? No? See how selective our memories become when we’re indoctrinated into believing things through social and media subliminal pressure.
If you look at the iPhone Wiki, you’ll see a new iPhone was launched every year since 2007. The iPad is following the same trait (see iPad Wiki). However, since the original iPhone launch in 2007, consumers are becoming more and more savvy about what to expect for the next incremental product update.
So based off the product cycle information, it’s suggestive that there’s another iPad product being developed already.
Details on the new iPad – iPad2 HD
Well of course there aren’t any – yet. But read on…
Releasing the iPad2 can be viewed as releasing the iPhone 3G; it’s definitely a step up from the original product but it falls short in a number of areas:
- Screen resolution is still 1024 x 768 – it’s no Retina display and not the best HD movie experience. I suspect they made this choice as existing iPhone apps would look even worse on an iPad Retina display.
- The rear-facing camera is not going to be great for still photography – 1280 x 720 = 0.92 megapixels. For this to be anywhere near usable there needs to be at least 3MP.
- Still has 256mb Memory, just like the original iPad
Apple’s product cycle tends to fall in September, which is when we will see the launch of the iPhone 5 (see “leaked iPhone 5 parts surface“) and then early 2012 we’ll see iPad 2 HD launch. [postscript: Rumour now is that the iPhone 5 will be announced in June 2011, leaving the door open for other products in September]. The A5 processor is really necessary for the Retina display to handle moving things around the screen and this delay gives Apple enough time to work out what to do with the backward compatibility for existing iPhone apps.
Should you buy an iPad2?
Do you have an iPad? Then no.
Otherwise, consider the iPad and the Motorola Xoom and then see what works best for you. Bear in mind that the Moto Xoom is in early product cycle so may fall down against the iPad2 initially in *some* areas, but Google is committed to making the platform successful so you can almost guarantee future updates will also make it a compelling argument. Right now the Xoom not priced at the right level (although some large volume discount retailers are selling it at discount).
I take a neutral approach to the Mac vs PC; Android vs iOS debates that rage forums etc. Our household has Macs, PCs, iPads, Android devices and iPods. All of these devices we enjoy using day in and day out. I do dislike iTunes immensely though!