New iPad & Apple TV: Precognition Palooza

It’s time to look back and see how I did with predictions. Last week’s Particle Debris pretty much nailed the predictions for the iPad … um, oh wait, sure, the iPad 3. That’s right.

I predicted the higher resolution display, a CPU upgrade, 1080p, 4G/LTE, and better cameras. I was hoping for better stereo speakers, but that wasn’t definite. I also predicted that Apple would not, at this time, release a smaller 7.x inch iPad. Not bad, I’d say, but don’t worry. It gets worse right away.

What we got was a better rear camera. but the front facing camera looks to still be “VGA,” which amounts to, from what I’ve read, 0.3 megapixels.

WizardI went wrong in several other areas. I predicted the iPad 2 price would drop into the range of $299 to $349. Instead it’s $399. There are several things at work here. One, as I’ve said, is that Apple doesn’t want to devalue the brand. Second, Apple has no serious competition in the 10-inch product space, so why leave money on the table? Plus, some allowance for the inevitable discounting must be made. Finally, if Amazon does come out with a 10-inch tablet, as mentioned last week, Apple has some room to undercut them. Also, one might want to leave some pricing space at $299 for Apple’s own, ahem, 7-inch tablet at Christmas. Well, yes, now that you asked, I guess I am a bit obsessed with that idea.

Where I went very wrong was with the Apple TV. I couldn’t conceive of the idea that Apple would discontinue the Apple TV 2 and replace it with an identical unit with nothing much more than the ability to output 1080p/30. That nothing else changed, substantially, and that the 2nd generation Apple TV can run the new software surprised me. It’s almost as if some driving force, some sense of relentless movement forward had been replaced by a more sober, considered approach that emphasizes practicality and customer satisfaction over a fanatical drive into the future. Now, who could be responsible for that? [smile]

Here’s another summary of what iPad customers didn’t get. This essay is a bit less considered in that it evaluates Apple against some of the more extreme predictions. I cite it for historical purposes only, and I don’t endorse the implied cynicism. “iPad 3: What we didn’t get.

Of course, I ordered an iPad 3 myself because I have to review products that exploit that retina display. At least, that’s what I told my wife.

Speaking of the Retina display, does it meet that standard? Recall that the (rough) definition of the Retina display is that the pixels subtend an angle that’s smaller than the resolution of the human eye. Who better than to analyze that than an astronomer, Phil Plait, someone who’s an expert in the visual acuity of the human eye? “Eyeballing the iPad 3 retina display.” The short answer is that at 264 dots per inch, indeed it does, when held at a suitable distance. As for the technology itself, here’s some background. “Here’s How Apple Put a Retina Display in the iPad.

The iPad 3 didn’t ship with Siri. I didn’t think it would, and here’s some insightful analysis about why the iPad isn’t ready for Siri, no matter how much horsepower the CPU has: “Why The New iPad Doesn’t Have Siri.”

Back in 2011, I predicted that Apple would smooth over some of its patent litigation. Apple is spending a lot of money in its patent litigation, US$100M or more, by some accounts, and that unless Apple sees huge wins, it may maneuver to negotiate instead of litigate. I wrote, “As a result, Apple will instead work to quietly achieve a detente, extract a revenue stream from these infringements and then focus on innovation, manufacturing techniques (and its corresponding economic leverage) and licensing revenues in order to maintain supremacy in the tablet market.” So it was nice to see this week that an investment analyst sees it the same way. “Apple: Bernstein Sees Gradual End to Patent Fights.” That’s not to say we won’t see some continued high-profile wins by Apple.

Finally, Apple has won a patent which, according to Patently Apple , is very important and will help Apple considerably with the digital wallet. “Apple Wins Patent for iWallet: The one that will rule the World.” This article goes into some of the social considerations and transaction rules when using this kind of payment system, and that’s what makes it doubly interesting.


Image credit: Shutterstock, plus some TMO fun…