Apple today introduced the 3rd generation iPad, interestingly dubbed “The New iPad“, rather than the expected “iPad 3″. Keeping it brief, the New iPad’s updated features are a significantly higher resolution display, more powerful processor and graphics performance, improved camera, and 4G LTE wireless technology.
The 4G LTE feature is certainly a big deal, as 4G speeds can be significantly faster than 3G. For those that use their iPads on the cellular wireless networks, this is a welcome new feature. However, given the limited reach of 4G networks, plus the fact that many people use their iPads over Wi-Fi, the 4G feature is not all that groundbreaking.
The feature that Apple spent the most time on was the new display and graphics performance. Given that the resolution of the New iPad is 4 times higher than the iPad 2, it is quite a significant upgrade. Listening to Apple talk about it, the new screen, which they call a “Retina Display”, redefines the iPad. Interestingly enough, Apple claimed that this is the first device they can not adequately represent through their on-stage projection system because the resolution of the iPad is better than the projection system. They repeatedly asserted that in order to appreciate the Retina Display of the New iPad, one needs to see it directly with their own eyes. That is a pretty strong claim.
Also, Apple announced that they will continue to sell the 16 GB iPad 2 model (Wi-Fi only and 3G models) at $100 off their original pricing. For $399 and $529 respectively, it will be interesting to see how the iPad 2 continues to sell. I’ve been told by many people they were waiting for the price of the iPad 2 to drop before buying an iPad.
My recommendation is to wait until you’ve seen the New iPad in person before making the decision between it and the iPad 2. If Apple’s claims are true that the Retina Display redefines the iPad, it is worth taking a look before purchasing.