Six months ago, the third generation iPad was launched. The New iPad, they called it. Fast forward to today, and we’re seeing a newer iPad. But let’s not go there just yet, because the fourth generation iPad is the latest flagship tablet from Cupertino, and it’s not just a refresh – at least not in Apple’s eyes.
Sporting an updated A6X processor that reportedly doubles the performance of the previous A5X chip found in the New iPad, the new New iPad (or iPad 3S, or iPad 4, etc. etc.) also features improved Wi-Fi connectivity, LTE, a 720p FaceTime camera and improved 5MP iSight camera – all while still retaining the 10-hour battery life. But of course, the main reason for the quick update is the addition of the Lightning port, which Apple are pushing hard to be the main connectivity driver for all its smart devices.
On the outside though, nothing much has changed. Even the pricing remains the same, starting from $499, and available in black and white. Pre-orders start Friday in select countries, and will be available from November 2 – in selected countries. In fact, the Apple website has already been updated to show off the new fourth gen iPad…with nary a mention of the old one. (As of writing, the Apple online store is still closed, so we’re still not sure if they will continue to sell it – or if they will still call it the New iPad.)
Rushing through to launch a new iPad six months into the life of the old one appears to be frightfully cruel. Considering the masses of Apple fans who never fail to be early adopters, this is one massive slap to the face for those who lined up six months ago.
On the other hand, the move does look to be a defensive one. With Apple launching the iPad Mini (where many suggested might have been to counter sales of the Google Nexus 7), the fourth gen iPad may have launched earlier than expected due to Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablet. Finally, it appears the tablet scene is not the dominion of Apple anymore, and Apple are taking steps to remedy that.
Too bad for the iPad 3 owners though.
(Image source: Apple)