iPad 2’s Secret New Ports

As far as the MoD is concerned, the rumors on the new iPad 2 fall into 3 distinct categories

The Obvious

  • The new iPad is lauching in April – Apple’s 12 month product refresh cycle are about as reliable as a Rolex at this point.
  • The new iPad will be available to Verizon without a MiFi device.Verizon already sells the iPhone now, so getting the iPad with CDMA 3G access is the biggest no brainer out there.
  • The new iPad will be lighter/thinner – Apple is always chasing that design goal while keeping best in class battery life.
  • The iPad will have a new processor – Apple’s been acquiring intellectual talent to keep them at the front of system on chip technology and now that the iPad has established terra firma for the rest of the tablet market, Apple won’t be left behind in terms of performance.

The Interesting

  • The new iPad will use an advanced multicore graphics chip to go along with the new multi-core ARM design – Apple’s been using the same graphics processor for a while, so an upgrade makes total sense, but does again rise the potential for even more advanced graphics in terms of gaming for the iPad.
  • The new iPad will have an enhanced screen resolution something close to the specs of the Retina Display on the iPhone 4. If you wanted to recreate newspaper and magazine experience on screen, a high end display for that content while maintaining screen resolution independence for system icons would be ideal. iOS as Daniel Eran Dilger for Appleinsider explains has resolution independent elements allow for high detail text, but not reducing icon size. The alleged soon to be announced Daily newspaper from Rupert Murdoch could take advantage of such amazing resolution to provide print like quality. (Daring Fireball is downplaying all this chatter, however Engadget’s source was pretty much on point about the new Apple TV)

The Unexpected

  • SD Card Slot: Every time you hear comments that the iPod was adding a USB port, you knew that rumor was wrong. Apple hadn’t spent years establishing the iPod cable interface to just throw it away. So when the rumor of a SD card slot for the iPad appeared, MoD instantly regarded that rumor as complete fantasy. No iPod or iPhones have ever featured additional storage capability. But another round of alleged new iPad 2 cases show a slot for a SD card. So, this feature allows for all kinds of additional power to the device. Backup capability without the need for a computer, large file transfers and direct from digital cameras/camcorders transfers, additional storage ability (I wonder if Apple will reduce the storage options now, figuring that folks can add additional memory as needed, 32 GB SD Card can be had for about $50), mobile profiles to allow multi-user access on the iPad by simply plugging in your SD Card, secure data options for business folks/IT departments. In many ways, the SD card slot makes the iPad a more powerful mobile business machine.
  • Mini Display Port connection: the same case that shows an SD Card slot shows a small port labelled Mini Display Port. Now mini DP just like on the MacBooks can be used with either HDMI, VGA, or DVI devices with the right adapter. So this port would allow the iPad 2 to be connected to the entire world of HDTVs that are prevalent. Again, you have to wonder if this port is to satisfy the enterprise market making the iPad able to be used as a mobile presentation device. The dedicated video out port also allows the traditional iPod connector to be a dedicated power port. Apple had been rumored into looking at iPads with two dock connector ports, but the addition of a dedicated video port and a data port (SD Card Slot) would be make a second connector unnecessary.
  • Both new connections would raise the bar on the feature set of the iPad and along with rumored internal upgrades/improvements set a very difficult target for the WebOS tablet, RIM Playbook, and Android 3.0 Tablets.
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