iPad 3/iPhone 5 Speculation; Post And Riposte

iPad 3/iPhone 5 Speculation; Post And Riposte

My weekend blog entry indulging in some pre-Christmas I-device speculation sparked some interesting discussion on the forum

Recyclops expressed doubt that the next iPad and iPhone will be powered by Apple’s current A5 dual-core CPU, noting that competitors like the ASUS ee pad transformer already come with quad-core CPUs, adding that he was “extremely disappointed” upon hearing that the A5 in the iPhone 4S wasn’t even a full GHz and had less than one GB of RAM. In a riposte, Brett Said he’s of a mind that the iPad 3, which most of us deduce will be out March / April, probably will have A5 silicon, arguing that it’s a perfectly good processor and he thinks Apple will probably concentrate more on features, including Siri, perhaps more memory and the 8 megapixel camera currently gracing the iPhone 4S.

Meanwhile, LoneWolf is in Recyclops’s camp, suggesting that anything other than the A6 for the iPhone 5 would be a mistake since he assumes it will have LTE, a larger screen and possibly a smaller form factor, noting that the A6 is rumored to be more energy efficient than the A5 which would help with battery life, something he says Apple won’t be underestimating this time around.

Excellent points all, but provisionally I have to go with Brett on the processor question. The A5 CPU is respectively speedy, and I’m skeptical that the A6 will be ready for a Spring 2012 iPad 3 release. While it isn’t out of the question that Apple would opt to introduce the A6 chip in an iPhone rather than an iPad, I’m skeptical that they will.

Also, one of the major business/Apple blogosphere news stories last week was that A5 processor production has just been shifted to Samsung’s huge new 1.6 million square foot, $ 3.6bn (closer to $ 9bn, according to Austin Chamber of Commerce) fabrication facility at Austin, Texas, and I’m thinking that it’s highly doubtful that Samsung would have tooled up their big new chippery to make A5s if Apple was planning a precipitous shift to A6 silicon, at least for the iPad 3 for which component production and stockpiling is reportedly already underway.

As an aside, it’s nice to see some Apple computer hardware component production back in the ‘States, even though the iOS devices the A5 powers are still assembled by Foxconn in China.

Back on the forum, Roger Davies is looking for some major changes in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5, contending the iPad 2 was barely a bump up over the original

“Crappy camera and a slight upgrade in processor? iPad 3 needs to have come in 32gig, 64gig, and 128gig, who could use 16 gig on a video device? That fits 2 movies and basic apps along with a few selected songs Please. Quad core too or I will keep my iPad 1 until the next model Retina is not needed as the screen is fine, why have more resolution than all other Mac devices?”

I agree with Roger about the screen on the point. The current 1024 x 768 resolution suits me just fine, too. However, I expect that we’re going to get a higher-res display in iPad 3 anyway.

I do think Roger is being excessively rough on the iPad 2, and would argue that it was a more substantial departure from the iPad original spec. than he acknowledges.

While the iPad 1′s display was carried over to iPad 2, the latter is significantly thinner (33%)’ lighter (15%) faster (see below), and has more features than iPad 1.. Apple claims that the A5 CPU’s clock speed is double that of the A4 processor in iPad 1, and that graphics processor unit performance of the A5 chipset is nine plus times quicker compared to the one used in iPad (probably 5 7 times better real-world performance). RAM is also doubled from the 256 MB in iPad to 512 MB in iPad 2. Those are not trivial upgrades..

I also contend that while the cameras iniPad 2 are indeed mediocre, they beat the whizz out of having no cameras at all. I do hope the 8 megapixel unit from iPhone 4S does migrate to iPad with version 3, bit in the meantime I find the one in my iPad 2 useful.

I’m a big fan of multitasking, and iPad 2 offers better multitasking support thanks to its 1GHz dual-core A5 chip and 512 MB RAM, especially with touch-based application switching in iOS 5, which was a HUGE improvement in my iOS experience.

One report I read said that with both running the same iOS version, iPad 2 delivers about 80% better Safari browser performance than iPad 1, and pages load around 35% faster with iPad 2.

iPad 2 also offers HDMI capability, enabling the user to connect to HDTV via Apple’s optional digital AV adapter, and has HDMI mirroring capability.

Moving along, Normand Rivard questioned why I somewhat wistfully queried whether we could hope for Flash support in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. Well, I don’t dispute that Flash has manifold shortcomings, but the inconvenient fact remains that Flash os far from dead yet, and as long as there is a lot of Flash video in the Web, Apple’s iOS devices not being able to display it means that you’re locked out of a lot of content.

The main two complaints I hear over and over again from iPad users (including myself) are the absence of Flash support, and the lack of a real USB port for hard-wired connectivity. I don’t have very lively hope that we’ll see either on the iPad 3, but I can still wish we would, because they would improve my iPad experience substantially in a here-and- now practical context.

undfeatable thinks Apple needs to get back on top of new technology and stop releasing it later than other companies, likes the iPad Retina display upgrade, and wants A6 power in both the iPad 3 and iPhone 5, plus a four inch screen (but nothing bigger.

I think two out of three are going to happen, but that we’ll have to wait for perhaps 3S and 5S versions respectively for the A6. However, just to complicate the picture, Digitimes’ Max Wang and Steve Shen reported Friday that Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad prior to Q4 2012 in addition to the new iPad 3 scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter, according to sources in the supply chain.

Wang and Shen note that global shipments of tablet PCs are expected to reach 60 million units in 2011, of which 70% will be Apple’s iPads. However, their insider sources tell them that in order to stay in front of increasing market competition, including the 7-inch Kindle Fire from Amazon and the launch of large-size smartphones from handset vendors, Apple has been persuaded to develop 7.85-inch iPads, with OEMs in the supply chain, including panel makers LG Display and AU Optronics (AUO), likely to begin production of the 7.85-inch models at the end of Q2 2012.

So, if an Apple 7.5″ tablet device is in the works, will it replace the iPod touch at the same $ 199 price point, or will an iPhone-sized iPod touch continue in tandem, and of course, with telephony internals, a 7.5″ tablet could be a really big-screen iOS News Reader iPhone. I’m kidding, I think, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more convergence of features among the iPhone/iPad/iPod families in the future.

What do you think?

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