It Needs 4G

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It Needs 4G

The future of mobile connectivity is 4G. Unfortunately for iPad 2 owners, however, that device doesnt connect to one of the ultra-high-speed networks. With the iPad 3, Apple can bring 4G to the device and coax to its side those who are waiting for that option. Considering Motorolas Xoom has a free 4G upgrade and a 4G-capable BlackBerry PlayBook will be shipping later this year, a late 2011 launch of a 4G-equipped iPad 3 would make sense.

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Opportunity for Different Sizes?

The recently launched BlackBerry PlayBook comes with a 7-inch display. The Motorola Xoom has a 10.1-inch screen. The iPad 2, on the other hand, has a 9.7-inch screen. Considering there are so many different screen sizes on the market right now, Apple should think about offering different display sizes with the iPad 3 this year. By doing so, it could likely bring more customers to its side. After all, a 10.1-inch iPad 3 sounds quite nice, doesnt it?

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The Enterprise Might Look Elsewhere

Apple mentioned during its April 20 earnings call that many Fortune 500 companies are considering the possibility of bringing the iPad to their operations. The only issue is corporate customers have other options available to them, including the BlackBerry PlayBook and the upcoming Cisco Cius. If the majority of enterprise customers opt against adopting the iPad 2, Apple could use the iPad 3 this year to offer more enterprise features and appeal to those companies before they choose another device.

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Look for Motorola to Do the Same

Debate rages over the popularity of the Motorola Xoom. Some say its a success in a fledgling market, while others call it a failure. Either way, expect Motorola to offer the Xoom 2 later this year. That device will likely do a much better job of competing against the iPad 2 than its current model does. If the Xoom 2 is good enough to steal some customers away from Apple, Steve Jobs and Company might have no other choice but to respond with the iPad 3 in 2011.

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Android Will Be a Bigger Threat

Over the next several months, many companies, including Samsung, Toshiba and Dell as well as others, plan to release Android tablets. By the fourth quarter, the tablet market will be flooded with devices that are all vying for the finite amount of cash consumers have to spend. The iPad 2 will likely be a top choice among those folks, but depending on the reception of other devices, it might not score as much market share as some think. With the iPad 3 offering the features that the iPad 2 lacks, Apple could go a long way in improving its chances of domination in the tablet market.

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There Might Not Be an iPhone 5

Speculation abounds that Apple wont be releasing an iPhone 5 this year. If that happens, the company wouldnt have the single product that helps it dramatically increase its revenue and profit figures each year-something investors have come to expect. By releasing the iPad 3 in late 2011, Apple should be able to limit the impact of that. After all, if the company can sell several million tablets over a single quarter, it should go a long way in making investors forget about the lack of an iPhone 5 this year.

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It Readjusts Timing

Apple has followed an early-year launch cycle with the iPad since its release last year. By launching the iPad 3 late in 2011, Apple can readjust its timing a bit to capitalize more on the critical holiday shopping season. The iPad 2 will undoubtedly sell well during the holiday shopping season. But if Apple releases the iPad 3 a month or so before that time, it could see sales of the tablet reach even greater heights, since it would likely match up more effectively with the competition and be fresher in consumers minds.

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It Won't Kill the iPad 2

One of the smartest moves Apple has made over the years is offering its last-generation iPhone at a reduced price alongside its new model. By doing so, it brings many more consumers into the fold that might want to get a new smartphone, but dont want to pay at least $200 to do it. By releasing the iPad 3 this year, Apple can follow that same strategy with its tablets. The iPad 3 can retail for the same starting price of $499 and Apple can offer the iPad 2 for, say, $399 or less. At that price level, far more customers would likely be willing to jump in on the tablet craze.

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Missing Features Are an Issue

The iPad 2 is a fine device with features that are obviously catching on with consumers. However, the device still lacks a USB port, SD card slot, and many other features that customers are after. If Apple really wants to make the iPad a replacement for lightweight notebooks, the time has come to deliver features, including the USB port and SD card slot, that customers want. What better way to do that than with the iPad 3 later this year?

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The Retina Display Could Be the Trump Card

Prior to the iPad 2s announcement, just about everyone was hoping that the tablet would come with a Retina Display, the high-resolution screen available on the companys iPhone 4. Unfortunately, that never happened, which paved the way for other tablets to either match or barely best the iPad 2s display. A Retina Display in the iPad 3 could change all that. Best of all, it would probably prove to be one of the best reasons for consumers to choose Apples tablet over any other this year.

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