Monday, January 17, 2011

Steve Jobs, iPad 2 Screen Rumor (Short Take)

Comparison between the iPad and iPod Touch's K...
I wrote the second half of this post last night before the news that Steve Jobs is taking a second leave of absence from Apple for health reasons broke. It would be difficult to overstate Job's impact on Apple.  As in the past details as to why he is taking time off are intentionally sparse. Apple did fine when Jobs took his previous leave. Rumors will emerge over the next few weeks as to how he is doing and what his prognosis is.  I hope he's back soon.

When Jobs failed to show up for the Verizon iPhone announcement the assumption was that his absence was prompted by a lack of new features in the Verizon iPhone. Given this development it may simply have been the case that he wasn't feeling healthy enough to make an appearance.

I wrote the rest of this last night.

In my year 2010 wrap-up I predicted that we would see only a modest improvement in the screen resolution on the iPad 2.  If the rumors are true I was way off on that one. Not even one month into the year and already my odds of batting a thousand prediction wise are dropping fast.

An increase in resolution to 2048x1536 would be significant, and not only from a technical perspective.  With the deluge of tablets coming to market Apple is almost certainly looking to maintain their edge as the premium provider in the tablet space.

Another iPad 2 related prediction I made was a modest drop in price.  I'd likely be wrong on that one as well if this scenario plays out.  In fact, a modest increase in price wouldn't surprise me.

While I could claim that making predictions is difficult, the truth of the matter is I didn't really think this one through very well.  If you're Apple you always want to stay ahead of the competition.  Modest improvements aren't likely to to keep the public excited about a new product line. You're going to want to deliver a significant upgrade every year for at least the first few years. The benefit of this approach is that Apple not only improves their chances of maintaining share, they also establish themselves as the company that defines tablet computing.  Everyone else will be viewed as playing catch up.

We didn't buy a first generation iPad. We will almost certainly purchase one of the second generation devices.  If rumors and the past are to be trusted Apple has taken an already excellent product and managed to yet again jump well ahead of their competition.

Image via Wikipedia
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