Speculation abounds thatApple will be announcing and launching the iPad 3 at some point in the next few months. Some reports claim it could happen as early as February, while others sayit’s more likely to happen in March or April. Still others claim we might not see the iPad 3 until much later in the year, due to some issues with the device’s display and a change in launch cycles at Apple headquarters.
Of course, Apple isn’t saying what’s really happening, and the company has stopped short of even admitting that it will introduce an iPad 3 in 2012. But it’s not a stretch to say that it will, indeed, be hitting store shelves this year. It’s also not a stretch to say that for the vast majority of consumers, buying it on launch day might not be the best idea.
Yes, there will be some Apple fans and early adopters who will disagree with that logic, but there is quite a bit going on in the tablet market right now. What’s more, there are really innovative products that are also scheduled to ship this year that could attract consumers.
Read on to find out why you shouldn’t buy the iPad 3 at launch:
1. It might not be a major update
Each year before a new iPhone or iPad is announced, the rumor mill suggests Apple is building in major enhancements to the new model. But in the last year or so, that just hasn’t been the case, as Apple has shown off iterative updates, rather than revolutionary upgrades. In that case there’s a good chancethe iPad 3 won’t be a major update. If it’s not, would it really be best to invest at least $500 in a new device that, if you’re already an iPad owner, might not do much more than the device you have now?
2. The iPad 2 might be available at a cheaper price
Apple is widely expected to continue to sell the iPad 2 after the iPad 3 is announced. Like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the company might sell the iPad 2 at a discount and then start the iPad 3 out at the standard $499 price tag. The iPad 3 might be a highly desirable tablet, but considering the iPad 2 is worth buying in its own right, why not save a couple bucks and buy last year’s model, rather than this year’s?
3. Wait for Android tablets
Although it’s something Apple fans wouldn’t even consider, some consumers might want to see what kind of Android tablets are launched this year before they decide to buy the iPad 3. Sure, many of them might not appeal to consumer desire, but there’s a chance that some just might. In fact, one of the most anticipated rumor devices is a Google-branded tablet. Find out what that’s all about before buying the iPad 3.
4. Windows 8 is looming large
Windows has so far been unable to capture any tablet market share. But toward the end of this year, Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8, and slates running that operating system will follow close on its heels. Will they be high-quality options? Will they fall short? For now, there’s no telling. But waiting to see what those devices are like could be the best move before buying the iPad 3.
Consider the Amazon Kindle Fire or Ultrabooks
5. Maybe an ultrabook would be better?
Tablets are great, and there’s little question that the iPad 3 will appeal to consumers. But there are other form factors available to customers looking to go mobile. Chief among those form factors is the ultrabook. Those lightweight, thin devices are ideal for mobile consumers and come with a full physical keyboard to improve productivity. Plus, their prices are expected to come down this year, making them even more affordable. Consider them before buying the iPad 3.
6. Let the kinks get worked out
Being an early adopter is fine for folks who don’t mind suffering through odd hardware and software quirks, but for the rest of us, it’s a pain. The smart move with any product-Apple or not -is to wait a month or two to see if owners are complaining about issues. If they are and they haven’t been addressed, move on to another device. But if there aren’t any major flaws to speak of, feel free to buy the iPad 3.
7. Your office might get one for you
It’s often overlooked, but consumers looking to buy an iPad should keep in mind that the enterprise is increasingly warming to Apple’s tablet. In fact, there’s a good chance that after the iPad 3 launches, many more enterprises will start equipping employees with iPad 3s.
8. Wait to see what Amazon shows off
If there’s a solid No. 2 in the tablet space right now, it has to be Amazon’s Kindle Fire. And that device, which is just $199 and comes with a 7-inch display, is scheduled to be updated at some point this year. Even better, Amazon is expected to launch bigger versions of the tablet. Consider waiting to see what Amazon shows off before jumping at the chance to buy the iPad 3 at launch.
9. The best idea is to spend cash now
There are many consumers out there right now who really want to get a tablet, but after hearing the rumors, are waiting for Apple to launch the iPad 3 before they do so. That’s a bad idea. Apple’s iPad 2 is an outstanding tablet, and so is the Kindle Fire. Spending cash now and thenwaiting to see what Apple shows off in the iPad 3 is unarguably the best move for consumers to make.
10. Maybe you should wait for the iPad 4
Those who already own an iPad or another tablet that works well should wait for the iPad 4. After all, that slate will be the most likely to come with all the features consumers are after, and it frees up some cash this year to be spent on other devices. The iPad 3 might be great, but if you can wait a year for the iPad 4, you’ll probably be quite happy you did. The last thing consumers should do is get caught in the consumer trap of buying a new tablet each year.