In normal fashion when approaching the supposed launch of a new Apple device, people's minds start to wander. Noses start poking around and discovering tiny pieces to an enormous puzzle, and with just a few, tiny details, people try to put together an entire image. I can't say I'm not guilty, though. I did just that with the iPhone 5 with a 4-inch display that I just knew was coming last year ...
This time around, it's the iPad 3. All fingers seem to be pointing to an unveiling of the new iPad at an Apple event that is believed to be taking place during the first week in March. And the purported specs have been rolling in left and right. Will it feature a Retina display? Will there be a quad-core or dual-core chipset? Will the camera be better? What about RAM?
All of these questions will be answered in due time. At most, we're only two weeks and two days away from the alleged date, March 7. But the answer to all of the above questions is: it doesn't matter.
All of Apple's recent launches have been widely viewed as disappointing – initially, at least. The iPhone 4S, which we should have expected to be launched solo from the start, was thought to be a disappointing device because of its minor upgrades over the iPhone 4. A better camera, dual-core processor and global compatibility were the most notable differences, not the large display, projection keyboards and other outlandish ideas that were never even close to reality. Regardless, the iPhone 4S sold well. No, it sold remarkably well.
The same could be said of the iPad 2 last year, following up the original iPad. Sure, the dual-core processor was a nice step up, and so was the addition of cameras – though they were picked from the bottom of the bucket. But people were expecting a Retina display on the iPad 2, as well as more memory (both RAM and ROM). Still, the iPad 2 was a major success. Apple still holds the tablet market by a wide (and slowly waning) margin.
While my hopes will remain high, it's important to keep in mind that Apple is not a company ran by super humans. They've dealt with production issues and had trouble keeping up with demand for quite a few years now. Unlike companies like ASUS who are churning out new tablets like they're going out of style, Apple is a single company that is in charge of hardware and software. Simply put, their products take more time and demand is usually astronomically high. They have to consider that when designing these products. And while many of the rumored specs are within the realm of possibility, it wouldn't surprise me at all if a few are off base.
Apple has been a victim of its own hype over the last several devices; the iPad 3 and even the iPhone 5 will probably be no different. But the devices will still face record-breaking sales. They always do. Whether the iPad 3 turns out to actually have an A6 chip or the pictured A5X, whether it has the same display or Retina display, more or the same memory, or the same or better cameras, it will perform well in the market.
With the iPad 3 and even the next iPhone, there will ultimately be some additional hype, too, especially among the true enthusiasts. It is believed that these are the last products that Steve Jobs had a hand in creating, so there's sure to be some sentimental value attached.
I've owned both the original iPad and the iPad 2. While they weren't my favorite, they were still great tablets and fun to play with. I would be lying if I said I wasn't interested in or going to buy an iPad 3. But I'm not biting my nails over it, and I'm not stressing about the specs like I have in the past. It will be a great product no matter how you look at it. Pricing, however, will probably be that much harder to justify with so many cheaper tablets available now.
Tell me, will you buy an iPad 3, regardless of the specifications it brings? Or will the Retina display be the deciding factor? Are you selling your iPad 2 ahead of launch so you can buy the next one?