You Don't Need an IPad 2

Some analysts are predicting that Apple's iPad 2 may sell 600,000 units this weekend -- outselling its original iPad. And while many people love Apple products, is it so revolutionary that iPad users will spring for the new version?

“The iPad 2 is essentially the tablet market,” Ashok Kumar, an analyst for Rodman & Renshaw in San Francisco told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. He also predicted the company would sell 35 million iPad 2s this year. “That [number] very well could be conservative.”

Those are some big words, especially when only 10.3 million tablets, not just from Apple, were sold in 2010. It could make a thinking person believe that the numbers may just be hype -- especially when Apple's new product, the iPad 2, isn't that different from the original iPad.

I can't speak for everyone or Apple users, but most of the changes to the iPad 2 seem almost cosmetic.There were no display or resolution improvement or changes, no near-field communications for possible mobile payments and wireless is still a mundane 3G. While many were touting the faster processor, it's still 1 GHz, custom-made or not. It also has essentially the same battery life and capabilities as the iPad, so an iPad owner won't need it.

Let's look at the major changes from original iPad:

  • Available in black or white
  • Faster A5 processor
  • 3 ounces lighter
  • 4.5 mm thinner
  • Front and back cameras (so users can use FaceTime)
  • Accessories

I didn't see any new capability or service that would make me want to buy one -- the possible exception being that the enterprise market may need the iPad 2's video conferencing with FaceTime (although most users already have FaceTime on their iPhone.) However, the camera has also been criticized for substandard still photos.

There are plenty online who think differently, but the reality is that the iPad 2 is not different enough to ditch an the original iPad. I'd wait for the iPad 3 where your money could buy an almost completely different machine.

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