iPad Resolutionary Event Recap

It’s funny reading some of the comments about the event today. So many writers/tech bloggers completely missing the point of the event and Apple’s overall strategy.  So what should they be talking about?

1. Doubling the screen resolution while holding the line on price is absurd. According to iSuppli for the iPad 2 the screen is almost 38% of the total cost of the iPad 2. So for Apple to have “innovated” in their production and supply chain to source this new screen and not increase price is amazing. Sarcasm intended. If Apple is able to move the MacBook Pros to Retina type screens at the same price, media members would be going crazy with praise.

Tech folks should NOT underestimate the impact of this new screen. This screen update is equal to a brand new form factor design with a brand new operating system. It’s that big a selling point.

Also, Apple’s main competitors are all spec followers/spec junkies. Other than maybe Samsung, the competitors are going to have a incredibly hard time matching $499 with no contract and a Retina Display. It’s also going to be a problem for Windows tablets, but more on that later

2. The new iPad’s WLAN/Cellular data chipset with support for almost every communication standard is a clear sign of the capabilities of the upcoming iPhone 5. It will have LTE in the US. It will support every version of 3g GSM in Europe and elsewhere. The new iPhone could support T-Mobile if an agreement can be reached. It will support powerhouse carrier China Mobile’s proprietary LTE/CDMA standards. Basically, Android will have no carrier safe havens any longer. Both LTE and the new chipset are getting a test run in the new iPad before the global iPhone 5 launch.

3. iOS 6 was never mentioned once. It’s out there. It’s in development. Apple is a dual headed monster of hardware and software. We just got the hardware part. The software part is coming.

4. He’s not Steve, but in his own way Tim Cook did an excellent job handling the event today. Apple is featuring more of key executives like Eddy Cue, but Cook handled the bulk of the event.

5. Android tablets have to little to no momentum right now. Apple just moved the benchmark in hardware, and the tablet software market is only becoming more and more dominated by Apple.  Android tablets manufacturers seem to still be hoping that the carriers can sell devices with contracts. The tablet market though is very different than the smartphone market.

6. Apple probably has 6 months of free reign until the first Windows 8 ARM based tablets are released with Metro based (tablet/touchscreen) apps. Windows 8 tablets seem like the only thing that can stop the iPad juggernaut. We still have not seen a single estimated price of a 10 inch ARM or Intel tablet (and I suspect the Intel versions will be more expensive with perhaps worse battery life). Still the MS brand and MS Office are familiar safe places for corporations and could slow iPad adoption in the enterprise.

7. Horace Dediu on his podcast today talking about the keynote made an interesting suggestion. Rather than the alleged 7 inch device being an iPad Mini, it will be an iPod Touch HD or XL. The iPad will always be 9.7 inches/10 inches. But Apple to counter the cheaper small market, will instead market a new expanded iPod Touch. It will run iPhone not iPad apps. If Apple increases the screen size on the iPhone 5, then Apple will need to figure out a second resolution/size for iPhone apps, perhaps Apple can figure out to support a 3rd screen size/resolution as well. A $299 iPod Touch HD along with bigger screen regular iPod Touch (mirroring the screen format of the new iPhone)  at $199 would place great pressure at the low end. With the older generation iPad working as a $399 barrier at the other end. Seems unlikely, but Apple did not update the iPod Touch at all last year so Apple could take the product in a radical change of direction.

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