iPad Update Coming Before Christmas?

iPad Update Coming Before Christmas

iPad Update Coming Before Christmas

Are we going to see an iPad bump before Christmas? I think so. You can call it an iPad 1.5 if you like. As the real iPad 2 will come later in 2011.

Here is why I think this is so…

iOS “unification” is set to happen in November. What that means is that all of our iOS Devices will be running the same version of iOS from that date forwards, with swanky new features like AirPrint and AirPlay that Apple announced at their iOS 4.2 sneak peek just a short while ago.

Facetime has been around in iPhone OS for quite a while now, and hints about cameras on the iPad have been popping up from manufacturers (which we reported on last week), and also in iOS 4.2 leaks from some developers.

One of the key features of iOS is Facetime. And yet the iPad has no cameras at all. Facetime is an incredibly important technology for Apple, and is already available on every device they make, except the iPad. Despite the hooks for it on the iPad being in iOS 4.2 already.

We already know that Apple has confirmed a November release for iOS 4.2. Quite obviously they have not listed Facetime on the iPad page, as that would seriously hamper current iPad sales because many people would then simply wait for the newer iPad version to show up.

The current iPad is already considered to be weak in terms of on-board RAM. It has 256MB vs the iPhone 4’s 512MB. And the iPhone 4 is already almost half way through its life cycle.

Updating the iPad sometime next year, but putting the same CPU in it as the current iPad and iPhone 4 would be seen as a lacklustre update. It is very likely that the iPhone 5 will sport a new faster ARM SoC (and probably even more onboard RAM and Flash storage), and that same updated PCB will also go into future iPad updates, as well as iPod Touch updates later in 2011. But that new iDevice circuit board is most likely not ready for prime time yet. And unlikely to be ready until later next year either.

We have long suspected an iPad bump might come before Christmas this year. And Apple is only really in a position to bump the spec of the iPad right now. Not reinvent it with a new PCB, new GPU and new CPU.

However, Apple are overdue to bring the iPad into line with competing tablets which already have slightly more powerful CPUs, more Flash storage, more RAM, and not one but two cameras.

We already know that the iPad PCB is basically the same as the iPhone 4’s, and consequently can support the iPhone 4’s cameras. And we know too that it is all but confirmed that we will see those cameras in the next iPad update.

Holding off updating the iPad until 2011, when everybody knows that a version with a camera is coming will hurt sales of the current iPad model, which are already slightly lower than both Apple and Stock Market analysts hoped (albeit by a very small margin). That is not to say that the iPad has not sold in staggering numbers anyway. It has. But Apple will be keen to consolidate, not stagnate in the new tablet market they created.

A new iPad just before Christmas, at the same price as the current iPad, with cameras and double the RAM might upset a few early adopters. But Apple has never been worried about doing that. What it will do is destroy any advantage that Samsung hope to gain in the marketplace with their Galaxy Tab offering. And skyrocket sales for Apple at a crucial time.

I have no inside information on this. I am simply applying what I currently know, and extrapolating what I think would be an obvious and smart move for Apple at the moment.

I could be completely wrong.

What do you think? iPad 1.5 (with cameras) before Christmas? Or a slightly longer wait for a lacklustre iPad 2 update in the first quarter of 2011? Have your say in the comments…


17 Comments on “iPad Update Coming Before Christmas?”

  1. I am about to order an iPad from US since it is cheaper than in Sweden were I’m living. Do you know when the updated iPad will be for sale in US?


  2. I think that its coming in 2011, january or april. I wanted to get an ipad, but then i heard that the number 2 was coming out. SO its better to wait a few months, and get a new one. I also hope they put cameras(really likley), flash(0 percent of chance to happen), and also mor RAM (this might happen…)… I really hope its soon, but with a BIG update…. Like… Like the new ipod nano. Big difference bewtween the 5 verison and 6th. Something like that. I DO NOT want the screen smaller. One of the reasons i want the ipad is cuz it has a big, nice, screen. A touch screen…

  3. Let’s hope for the best: an all new iPad announced and shipped around December 1, then a Verizon/AT&T/Tmobile iPhone 5 around March 1.

  4. I know i WANT them to release it before christmas because its on my wish list 🙂 but i wont buy one unless its the newest one out

  5. I suspect Apple won’t release a new iPad until at least a year or so from their current 1 gen (April 2010). Yes we’ve known about it for it seems like ages but it is still a relatively new product and Apple will want to get more bang for their buck before seriously updating or revamping the line. Their iOS 4.2 update is their play for the holiday season. They might release a new accessory for the iPad though in the shape of a camera for face time use. But even without a camera, the iPad is the best tablet on the market for the money and Apple knows it so they’ll milk it dry and release iPad 2 when we are just about fed up with them… Maybe January, but quite possibly April so they have something else cool to release and maybe another event to host.

    1. January is a possibility. I would still count that as being more or less the same thing as I am theorising.

      My point is that I don’t think Apple will wait for the expected product cycle release date. And as tablet competition hots up we might see some “out-of-order” releases of hardware updates to the iPad.

      And as our editor points out above, and I do myself in the article, this is purely my opinion, and I could be wrong.

  6. I believe that Apple will wait until 2011 and then release a new improved product called the iMaster. It will combine the iPad, iPod Touch, and iMac into one convenient device which will run our lives for us.

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