The iPad's Image Game
Mar 14, 2012 5:00 AM PT
Apple enthusiasts got their first glimpse at the company's newest product last week, but most are going to have to wait a while before getting their hands on it.
The new iPad is supposed to hit shelves on Friday, but retailers are already anticipating wait times of two to three weeks now that Apple has sold out its pre-order delivery.
Early response to what Apple showed of the new iPad has been relatively positive. Most of the improvements amount to a sharpening of existing features rather than the addition of completely new capabilities. The revamped version will be 4G LTE compatible, have an improved retina display and maintain a starting price of US$500.
"Individually, none of the new iPad features create an insurmountable advantage for Apple over its competition," Jeff Orr, group director of consumer research at ABI, told MacNewsWorld. "But the opportunity for Apple remains with how it can tie together the hardware and software for the customer experience."
Better on the Eyes
One of the more notable aspects of the new iPad is its high-res Retina display.
Besides showing clearer video, the improved display can enhance the gaming experience. At its media event announcing the new device, Apple demoed new games built to launch on the new iPad from Epic Games. As more people use mobile phones and tablets as gaming platforms, graphics power and display sharpness are playing a larger role in device design.
"Console and portable gaming isn't going away, but they're definitely part of a bigger mass market now," Wanda Meloni, president and founder of M2Research told MacNewsWorld. "There's been an explosion of games especially with mobile social gaming, and there is new data that suggests that's increasing at an even higher rate on iPads."
However, even an iPad with improved graphics won't necessarily be a draw for developer straight off the bat, said Maloni. Pricing is one reason. Console games typically sell for much more than iPad and iPhone titles.
"Developers are also concerned about development costs going up, and things like Retina display have a huge impact on cost," said Meloni. "What I've heard is that while it's more interesting from a user experience, there isn't really a direct advantage to support that yet because of the added cost. They're already grappling with having to use more detail ... and the cost of acquisition is going up, so adding something that's nice for a user experience but not adding to the monetization of the product is something that isn't happening yet."
Siri Siri Siri, Can't You See ...
A Brooklyn man filed a lawsuit last week claiming that Apple has falsely advertised the abilities of Siri, the iPhone 4S' digital personal assistant. On some of the television ads for Siri, it shows the speech-recognition tool assisting iPhone users with finding restaurants or learning to play music. But the plaintiff, Frank M. Fazio, says he hasn't had the same success with Siri that the ads display. Had he known that, he claims, he wouldn't have paid the premium price that Apple was able to demand thanks to Siri.
In other court issues with Apple, the company received a subpoena from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding information on how Apple products use Google search, according to a report from Bloomberg. Google has been under scrutiny from the FTC recently for its business practices regarding search. Some competitors and antitrust regulators feel that Google prioritizes search results to the benefit of its own bottom line.
The Apple subpoena requests documents regarding the agreement between Apple and Google that made Google the preferred search engine on the iPhone and iPad, according to the report.
Apple hasn't responded to any of the claims publicly and didn't reply to our requests for comment on this story.