If your New Year’s resolution is to buy yourself an iPad, you might do well to wait a month. Apple is planning to introduce two new versions of the popular tablet device at the end of January, according to a report published Thursday. And the current version, the iPad 2, is set to become an entry-level offering, competing with Amazon’s downmarket Kindle Fire on price.
According to DIGITIMES, the two new versions will feature higher-resolution screens, brighter panels, faster processors and better cameras – while iPad 2 will remain on the market “in the price-sensitive market segment.” The report cited unnamed sources among Apple’s suppliers.
Apple may have good reason to want to compete on price in downmarket segments of the growing tablet market, according to analysts. The iPad 2 starts at R4500, while the Kindle Fire, a seven-inch tablet, sells for R2700. The entry-level offering from Amazon will show significant gains this quarter against Apple’s iPad.
According to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, the Kindle Fire will push the iPad below 60 percent market share in the December quarter. The iPad has recovered early gains by Google with its Android platform, according to IDC, but now faces a downmarket threat.
Amazon reported that, as of mid-December, the Kindle Fire was selling at a rate of a million units a week.
In total, IDC reported underwhelming tablet sales heading into the height of the holiday shopping season – 18.1 million units during the third quarter. However, the tech analyst firm predicted a recovery of tablet sales through the end of the year.
Expexted features of the iPad 3:
According to the latest news, the Apple iPad3 will feature a new, thinner and sleeker design, down nearly 20 percent in size compared to the iPad 2. It will also support full touchscreen HD display with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536. The iPad 3 will also have a lighter battery life, reducing the weight of the tablet.
- A6 Processor
Now Apple is aiming to make the competition tougher by sporting an A6 Quad-core Processor in the iPad 3. This would make the iPad 3 as powerful as any high-end desktop.
- iOS 5
The iPad 3 will come with the latest iOS 5, which will host the multi-touch gesture technology. However, analyst and tech enthusiasts predict that Apple would introduce OS X Lion for the tablet, since it will be powered by a quad-core processor.
- Retina Display
Retina Display (after we’ve seen this function on the iPhone 4 we thought that iPad 2 will also going to have it but there wasn’t any, iPad 3 will probably come up with this improvement. With the Retina Display feature, the screen resolution of the iPad3 will be 2048 x 1536 pixels. However, it is said that the third version of the tablet is delayed due to Retina Display issues, and Apple is expected to ship the tablet in early 2012.
- Cloud Computing
Apple will definitely include the iCloud technology in iPad 3. With iCloud users can store photos, apps, calendars and access songs on iTunes without having them to store in the phone’s memory.
Fingerprint has already been granted patents on this technology, and is working real hard to make the iPad3 fingerprint proof. The touch screen will be coated with oleophobic materials, which will reduce the oil and fingerprints on the screen.
The new tablet will come with LED flash to support the camera. The display comes with a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution display that can enable HD 1080p capability for watching high def movies on its 9.7 inch LCD screen.