Apple’s new iPad is scheduled to hit store shelves on March 16. And when it does, you can expect the device to be a hot seller across the world as pent-up demand for the latest and greatest Apple tablet reaches a tipping point. Chances are, lines will be extending around Apple stores, and there will be a short supply just hours after the device hits store shelves.
But what will happen after the early adopters and dedicated Apple fans get out of the way? Will the average mainstream consumer or potential enterprise buyer jump to buy Apple’s new iPad? Will they, too, be in line, waiting to get their hands on the device the first day it’s available?
Unfortunately for Apple, they might not. Sure, there will be millions of iPads sold this quarter and next, and there’s a good chance the device will eventually set sales records. But there are also several compelling reasons today’s consumers might balk at picking up the new iPad. Despite its new A5X processor and Retina Display, the new iPad has some flaws many consumers won’t want to look past.
1. They have an iPad 2
For consumers who own an iPad 2, getting the new iPad might not make much sense. The device comes with a better display and 4G LTE, but other than a few other minor improvements, it’s basically the same device they own. The new iPad is great and all, but spending another $500 or more on a device that’s basically the same thing you own is not always a worthwhile purchase.
2. The LTE pricing is expensive
For those who want to get in on the 4G LTE craze, buying the new iPad is cost prohibitive. Each version of the LTE-equipped iPad is $130 more expensive than its WiFi-only alternative. And don’t forget to add to that price the cost of LTE services, which can range from $15 on up to $50 a month.
3. Where are all the improvements?
As noted, Apple’s new iPad comes with only a few major improvements. Consumers who had been listening to the rumors were hoping to find something far more revolutionary. Those folks don’t like being disappointed. And they especially don’t like spending money on nominal upgrades.
4. Does the name mean the real iPad 3 is coming?
Apple’s decision to call its latest release the “new iPad” is telling. It could mean that the company is trying to change its branding, but it might also mean that the real iPad 3 will be launching eventually. For consumers who believe in the latter, waiting to see if Apple follows through on that promise might be a good idea.
Waiting on Amazon, Microsoft
5. Waiting on Amazon
Apple isn’t competing in a vacuum; the company’s iPad is taking on a host of competitors. Chief among Apple’s competitors is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. That device reportedly reached unit sales of 5 million to 6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. And many customers are quite pleased with the experience it offers. Considering the new iPad wasn’t a major step up, at least some consumers will want to see what Amazon delivers in its next Kindle Fire.
6. Maybe even waiting on Microsoft
If there are some consumers waiting on the Kindle Fire, there are undoubtedly others, especially enterprise users, wondering what Microsoft’s vendor partners will deliver when Windows 8 tablets launch later this year. At Mobile World Congress, Microsoft said its tablets will offer the same Windows 8 experience as laptops and desktops. That’s important to many consumersand something that could eventually hurt the new iPad.
7. Prices come downeventually
As Apple proved at its special event on March 7, the company is willing to reduce the price of tablets a year after they launch. The iPad 2 is now $100 cheaper than it was just two days ago. Chances are, Apple will make the same move next year when it launches the next iPad and reduces the price of the new iPad. Keep that in mind.
8. There isn’t any more storage
Storage is increasingly important in the tablet market. With the sheer number of videos, songs, books and everything else pumped into a tablet’s storage, having more is always is better. And yet, Apple won’t go any higher than 64GB of storage in the new iPad. There are many folks who need more than that. And it’s about time Apple recognizes it.
9. Taking a wait-and-see on Apple and Tim Cook
Since Apple CEO Tim Cook took over the company from Steve Jobs last year, there hasn’t been much in the way of major launches. The iPhone 4S and the new iPad have been iterative updates, and iCloud, while important, is by no means groundbreaking. There is an increasing number of consumers out there who will want to see if Cook can be another Steve Jobs before they invest their hard-earned cash into Apple products.
10. Their employers have already taken care of it
Of course, there are also some consumers out there who desperately want to get their hands on a new iPad, but don’t. Wonder why? Ask their employers. In an increasing number of cases, companies are buying up iPads for their employees. If that trend continues this yearas expectedemployees won’t need to drop their own cash on a new iPad. Their employers will do it for them. Nice.