Apple's new iPad arrived without a formal name like "iPad 3" or "iPad HD." According to one analyst, there's a good reason for this.
Within moments of Apple executives
unveiling the latest version of the iPad, ripples of confusion began spreading
across the blogosphere, centered on one key fact: The new device seemed to lack
an official name.
Executives onstage had referred to the
tablet simply as "the new iPad." That ran contrary to the buzz
heading into the event, which uniformly suggested it would be saddled with
either "iPad 3" or "iPad HD."
At least one analyst has offered an
explanation for Apple's lack of a firm moniker for the tablet. "Finally,
the product will be called 'the new iPad' rather than the iPad 3," Peter
Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., wrote in a March 7 research note. "We
think this implies that future updates will be driven by software rather than
hardware, so Apple is switching its naming practices to be closer to those of
the Macs and iPods." Overall, he saw the eventand the new iPad's
offeringsas an overall positive for Apple.
Apple's new iPad includes a high-resolution
"Retina Display," a new A5X processor with quad-core graphics, and a
5-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video. It weighs slightly
more than the iPad 2, at 1.4 pounds, and offers comparable battery life. Those
in the United States will have the option of purchasing the new iPad with 4G
LTE connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T.
Other analysts believe those features
will help strengthen the iPad's market position.
"Given the 8-inch Kindle Fire
($199) and several lower-priced 10-inch Android Tablets," Gene Munster, an
analyst with Piper Jaffray, wrote in a March 7 research note, "we see the
price reduction of the iPad 2, and the lower entry-level price for the iPad
family, as a strong defensive move from Apple." Munster doesn't see the
iPad 2 price reduction as negatively impacting sales of the new iPad: "Rather,
it expands Apple's addressable market in the rapidly growing tablet space."
He also believes that a smaller,
cheaper iPad will someday appear on store shelves. "If the tablet market
grows to be larger than the PC market," he wrote, "which it already
has for Apple on both a unit and a revenue basis as of the Dec-11 quarter, we
believe the market will support multiple form-factors."
In fact, he added, "We expect the
iPad segment (40.5m sold in CY11, 60m est. in CY12) to require multiple
form-factors for the many geographies, demographics, and use cases that it
It's anyone's guess, though, what Apple
might actually call a smaller iPad.
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