Tomorrow morning Apple will front the world and take the wraps off its latest iPad. Unlike many rumours previously suggested, the company's third-generation iPad isn't likely to be called the iPad 3. It's going to be called the iPad HD. Does that mean you should be disappointed? Definitely not.
After months and months of rumours suggesting the device would be called the iPad 3, most industry sources are predicting Apple's new iPad will be called the iPad HD. The new device is likely to include a higher resolution screen (hence the HD name), may include 4G wireless broadband connectivity and will probably have a slightly better camera and a faster processor. However, most industry analysts expect the iPad HD to have the same design as last year's iPad 2.
Apple has form in this area. Last year it unveiled the iPhone 4S, a phone that looked exactly like the previous iPhone 4 except it had a faster processor, a better graphics engine and a better camera. In 2009 Apple released the iPhone 3GS, which was the iPhone 3G's frame with a faster processor, a better camera and a built-in compass.
Immediately following the iPhone 4S announcement last year, Apple's share price dropped five per cent and analysts panned the launch, using words like "disappointing" and "underwhelming". The iPhone 4S went on to become the most successful iPhone ever.
We suspect the same disappointments will be heard after tomorrow's announcement. Consumers will criticise the iPad HD for having the same design as the iPad 2. Some will criticise Apple for the lack of supposed missing features, which have all been generated by hype.
At the end of the day, an iPad HD will be an improvement on the iPad 2, even if it looks exactly the same. The rumoured retina display is likely to have a resolution of 2048x1536, which will make it by far the best screen on any tablet on the market. By comparison, the ASUS Transformer Prime has arguably the best screen on an Android tablet and it has a resolution of 1280x800.
Apple never promised a completely redesigned iPad 3. It never promised an iPhone 5, either. Apple never comments on rumours, never sends out press releases until a product is launched and never speculates on the make-up of future products. Any new products are announced at a press event (like the one scheduled tomorrow), and usually made available for sale just a few weeks later.
We suspect like the wealth of Apple products before it, the iPad HD will represent a perfectly justifiable upgrade for many users. Just don't buy into the hype and you won't be left disappointed.
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