Apple’s New iPad: The Tablet Which Must Not Be Named */?> Apple’s New iPad: The Tablet Which Must Not Be Named

Posted by · March 7, 2012 1:39 pm

When I added “none of the above” to yesterday’s poll about Apple’s newest iPad, I didn’t intend for that option to mean that the latest Apple tablet would ultimately have no name. But as it turns out, the meager 6 percent of respondents who chose that option over the iPad 3, 2S, HD or Mini were right for that precise reason.

Departing from the suspenseful yet gratifying, detailed yet concise manner in which his predecessor conducted these types of events, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a new approach in introducing the latest iPad, which, as it turns out, is to be known as “The new iPad”…and nothing more.

After greeting his audience with promises of an exciting event, the Apple CEO launched into a brief discussion of the “post-PC revolution” and its incredible global influence.

“It is happening all around us and at an amazing pace,” Cook claimed. And unsurprisingly, Apple, he says, is maintaining a steady lead.

The most influential products of the post-PC era, he continued, are Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad. “Any company would be thrilled to have just one of these devices.” Apple, who of course sells all three devices, sold 172 million so-called post-PC devices, which served to account for more than three quarters of Apple’s total revenue.

“Apple has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC future,” he concluded.

From there, the Apple CEO spoke at length of Apple’s retail success, the ubiquity of iOS, and the increasing popularity of the iPhone 4S feature Siri.

“Siri is your best friend, your intelligent personal assistant who gets things done just by asking,” Cook said confidently. “Our customers tell us that they love it.”

This was followed by an onslaught of statistics, mainly focused on the growth of Apple’s app store. Now offering more than 585,000 apps, Cook was happy to report that, as of Monday, more than 25 billion downloads had been made by app store users.

The final thing on the event agenda before the big iPad reveal was the highly anticipated introduction of the latest version of Apple TV, which now supports 1080p and allegedly allows easier access to third-party content. And most importantly, the new Apple TV kept its attractive $99 price tag, which will make it a sure draw when it hits shelves next week.

While it might seem like a lot of information, all of this was discussed in the first 15 minutes of the event. The following hour was spent exclusively on the new iPad, or should I say, “The New iPad.”

Described by Cook as the “poster child of the post-PC [era]”, the iPad is said to have overtaken both the PC and the smartphone as the most popular device for Web browsing and emailing. Not stopping its assault there, the iPad also beat e-readers, game consoles and handheld game consoles in their respective areas of interest, Cook reported.

According to him, it’s all in the experience. Despite the release of more than 100 competitor tablets in the last year alone, Cook suggests that no one has come close to creating the same experience that the iPad offers.

“This is a key reason why momentum on iPad continues to build and the competitive tablets aren’t gaining traction,” he noted.

As an image of the latest iPad hit the screen behind him, the Apple CEO assured his audience that the new tablet is “amazing” and that Apple, not one of its competitors, is “redefining the category that Apple created.”

This confident claim was followed by a laundry list of new features that “The New iPad” has. Marketing chief Phil Schiller introduced the highly anticipated Retina display (1 million more pixels than an HD TV), a new A5X chip with quad-core graphics (to support the Retina display), a new 5 megapixel camera, 1080p video recording, and even a voice dictation feature. Furthermore, this iPad will be 4G LTE compatible, which will allow users to take full advantage of high-speed networks like that of Verizon and AT&T.

After all of that, it only seems logical to give this iPad, with its sleek new look and host of new features, a name, right? But that never happened. Instead, they jumped right into prices: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. No different than the initial prices of the iPad 2, which will continue to be a part of the Apple tablet lineup at a reduced price, the company announced. However, unlike the rumors of a $299 price tag, the 16GB iPad 2 will only get a $100 markdown, making it only slightly more attractively priced than the $499 16GB “The New iPad.”

The remainder of the long, seemingly drawn out event was spent demonstrating apps, after which Cook reentered the stage and abruptly ended the event with a hook the doubtlessly fell on many a bored ear by that point: “Across the year, you are going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started.”

While it is hardly speculative to suggest that Apple fans are lining up in droves to pre-order “The New iPad” in anticipation of its March 16 release date, there is a lingering concern that Apple is beginning to lose some of its mystique. Given the fact that the event just ended, there is currently scant proof to support such a concern. Yet it’s difficult to imagine that, especially being an avid Apple user myself, I am the only one with such a concern.

What did you think of today’s iPad event? Do you think it was drawn out and anti-climactic? Or do you think Tim Cook’s new approach will prove just as effective as that of his predecessor?