Apple Event on March 2…and it’s definitely iPad.

This appeared in my Inbox a few minutes ago. These Apple Media Event invitations frustrate the hell out of me. Why must Apple be so vague about the subject?

(This is comedy.)

It looks like I’ll be there for the festivities. I might even bring my Motorola XOOM tablet, just to be a Contrarian.

I’m only expecting a few improvements for sure: a better speaker system, more application memory, and a camera. Everything else is on the “Hell if I know” list.

The rumors include:

  • A higher-res display. I seriously doubt it. It would make iPad 2 more expensive and it’d drain the hell out of the battery. Unless Apple can solve for X and Y, don’t count on it.
  • Built-in video-out and an SD card slot. Interesting ideas — it makes the iPad into a better travel computer, and sales of these accessories have been very solid — but Apple hates cutting holes in their devices. I suspect that they’ll be content to keep these features as external accessories. Mini DisplayPort would be a good plus on many different levels, though.
  • A Mini-USB port. No way in hell.

Overall, I’m expecting a “refresh” rather than a reboot of the iPad. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a price drop, either. Nothing dramatic…but even a $49 drop on the cheapest iPad would inflict an amount of pressure on both new, competing tablets and ebook readers that would be geometrically greater than the amount of effort Apple would need to spend to make it happen.

Well, in any event, we’ll know next week, won’t we?

31 thoughts on “Apple Event on March 2…and it’s definitely iPad.”

  1. Exciting stuff, Andy! I agree that we probably won’t see a higher-res display, although it can’t come too soon. Looking at my iPhone 4 makes the iPad’s resolution hard to bear :)

    Can’t wait to hear your take on next week’s announcements!

  2. Andy,
    I think Apple has to do something to set itself apart again. The android clan is catching up fast (see Xoom.) I would bet on dual core, more RAM, better display, and at least one camera.
    My $0.02

  3. Rudy,

    Apple doesn’t usually hold events for simple product refreshes – they’re simply updated on the website without much fanfare. There would have to be something drastically different about the design for it to warrant an event.

  4. I agree that it’s doubtful we’ll see a higher-res display; but it doesn’t seem like that’d drain the battery all that much. The screen is a battery drain because of the backlight, not the resolution.

    Maybe you’d get a little more battery drain from having to up the power on the graphics chip, but that doesn’t seem like it’d be awful in comparison with the sheer brightness of the display.

    Sorry to be such a watermelon seed. I’d say I suck, but I’m reading *your* blog, so clearly I don’t suck that much. Right?

  5. Apple Tablet consumers don’t care about specs. I am not talking about the geeks like us that would comment on this site but the general consumers. Any features they highlight wont be under the hood. I still say a Retina “like” display. Apple can basically call any higher resolution screen a Retina display since they made up the name anyway. Front and Back cameras are a given. Bigger better speaker is obviously needed. Thinner, lighter. Enhancements but not enough to make Christmas gift receivers angry.

  6. I’d be expecting mini-USB just because of the new charger requirements in Europe. A dongle to adapt the 30-pin connector to the required standard would be so bass ackawards.

  7. There’s frequently some sort of clue in these invitations, isn’t there? I got my hopes up for the mythical 7″ iPad when that Maps icon seemed a little too big, but closer examination revealed that it’s the standard size.

    That water-droplet background is new to the iPad, though, isn’t it? The same kind of wallpaper appeared first on the iPhone 4, which premiered the Retina display, so maybe iPad 2 has some sort of display bump (though the arguments against that are pretty compelling).

  8. @ Jeff Edsell No, the iPad got the water droplet wallpaper when 4.2 was released.

    No possibility of a “ThunderBolt” port on the iPad 2, Mr. Ihnatko?

  9. Good timing. I took advantage of the opportunity this week to sell my first-gen iPad before the resale value drops (as it certainly will after next Wednesday). While I liked it in principle, I found that I wasn’t using it as much as I expected. My biggest complaints about it were the limited RAM (couldn’t keep very many web pages in memory simultaneously, so it would refresh them a lot if you were switching between “tabs” in Safari) and the reflective screen (very annoying to try to watch a movie on a plane without seeing my own reflection, even with the windowshade down). I’m certain they’ll increase the RAM in this new model, and I’m hopeful they’ll improve the screen for use in brightly-lit locations. If so, I’ll probably buy a new one. Like Andy, I don’t really expect a retina display, but if they could make the screen appear more “on glass” (like the iPhone 4) than “under glass” then even that would be a huge improvement.

  10. My checkbook is ready for March 2. Now to the important stuff: I hope you can get Leo to spring for your ticket out to SFO for the event.

  11. Look at the invite. Obviously it has something to do with an underwater Maps app. For the growing number of submarine-owning Apple fans out there.
    So 2011 will be the year of underwater Maps. You heard it here first.

    Seriously though…you know what would be really useful in iPad2 or any other tablet du jour?

    User Accounts.

    Separate but centrally manageable accounts so that each user doesn’t mess up the Apps of another. And I wouldn’t even gripe (much) if Apple restricted purchased Apps to individual accounts rather than allow them to be used via multiple accounts on one machine. I just want user switching on one single machine – providing access to one’s own downloaded Apps.

    Search your heart, Apple fans. You know it to be true.

  12. I’d love to upgrade my iPad, but I won’t do it until I have some assurance I’ll be able to access my Kindle library and Netflix.

  13. It wouldn’t make any sense to do a major upgrade right now, especially since any other manufacturer right now is already having a hard time just to keep up and I don’t see any REAL competitive devices hitting the market any day soon. So yes of course they are going to add a front side camera (face time) but besides that only a little tweak here and there will be enough for now to further ensure their dominant position till the end of the year. Just about then the whole new IPad3 will see daylight.

  14. I think you should take your xoom. Then gat ahold of a next gen iPad and mate them into an unholy alliance like those two supercomputers in the Forbin Project.

  15. I’m putting my money on them replacing the iPod dock with a Thunderbolt — one port, no fuss, no muss, and all accessories can take advantage of it, plus it’s smaller than a USB or SD slot.

  16. I am thinking of finding a brand-new mac laptop professional, the little outdated macbook is beginning to get fairly slow. Do I need to opt for one of several more recent versions or hold out to view what they are going to come out with up coming? Appreciate it!

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