The new iPad launched on Wednesday to little fanfare. Consumers were confused why the tablet was not called iPad 3. In addition, the new tablet appears nearly identical to the iPad 2, meaning few iPad 2 users will be looking to upgrade.
In fact, at a time when Apple’s competitors are quickly launching new tablets with differentiated features, the new iPad will have a tough time selling in the market. The following are three reasons the new iPad will be dead on arrival (DOA):
1) New iPad Cannot Compete with Kindle Fire and BlackBerry PlayBook
In the low-end, Apple has to compete with Amazon’s cheaper $199 Kindle Fire, which also has a comprehensive app and ebook store. The attractive price of the Kindle Fire has resulted in strong sales. In the high-end, the new iPad has to compete with the BlackBerry PlayBook. With the PlayBook 2.0 update in late February, the PlayBook has far superior functionality to the new iPad in many areas. For example, the web browser on PlayBook 2.0 is the fastest among all tablets, with a HTML5 score of 354 (versus the iPad’s 305).
Even when the PlayBook launched in April 2011, it already had specifications far superior to the iPad 2 (1 GB RAM vs 512 MB, 5 MP camera vs 0.92 MP and 1080P video recording vs 720P). The new iPad allows Apple to merely catch up to the PlayBook, with a 5 MP camera and 1080P video recording (both of which the PlayBook already had). In addition, the PlayBook has many unique features, including the ability to run Android apps, full integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and the incredible BlackBerry Remote.
In addition, the new iPad has undergone benchmark tests, and the results indicate that the new iPad has exactly the same speed as the iPad 2 (dual-core 1GHz). Some consumers might have been deceived by talks of quad-core on the new iPad. However, the CPUs remain dual-core at 1 GHz (identical to the iPad 2) while the GPUs (for graphics rendering) are quad-core.
The 4G PlayBook is expected to launch by April, and is believed to have dual-core 1.5 GHz CPUs. Thus, it will be up to 50% faster than the new iPad when it launches in about one month.
2) New iPad is Thicker and Heavier
At a time when new smartphones and tablets are becoming thinner and lighter, the new iPad is actually thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. The thicker size will turn off many consumers who expect that new electronic devices should be an improvement over the previous model. In addition, the iPad line has frequently been criticized for its large size and weight, resulting in it being extremely inconvenient to carry the tablet outside the house. The increase in weight of the device from 1.33 pounds to 1.44-1.46 pounds only worsens the problem. Thus, the tablet can only be comfortably used when the user is sitting on a couch. In addition, with a quad-core GPU on the A5X (and not the newer A6 chip-set) the new iPad will give off a lot of heat when running, making it very uncomfortable to hold. The large vents on the side of the device already indicates this.
3) New iPad Nearly Identical to the iPad2
Apart from a higher-resolution display, the new iPad is little different from the iPad 2. In addition, their appearance are nearly identical. Users would only purchase a new iPad if it was significantly different versus their existing device. Thus, few current iPad users will spend another $500 to buy a tablet that is nearly identical to their current one.