The nine day wait which Apple imposed upon us at the media event in San Francisco is finally over, with buyers all over the world taking deliveries of their iPad pre-orders, as well as Apple Stores serving customer after customer as the new iPad flies off the shelves. We will need to wait a while until the sales numbers are released so we can see just how successful the new iPad is in the early stages of availability, but all experts predict that the third-generation iPad will break all records.
Those experience iPad owners among us will already know just what they are getting. When the pre-order website went live after the media event, thousands of customers headed straight to the online Apple Store knowing exactly which model to order to suit their needs, but what about the less experienced buyer who maybe entering the tablet ownership world for the first time? The new iPad comes with three options when it comes to storage capacities – 16, 32 and 64GB. Unlike other devices, the iPad offers no external options, meaning users can’t plugin external media sources such as an SD card or an external hard drive. As well as the three storage capacities, prospective buyers also need to take into account whether or not an iPad that only has Wi-Fi connectivity is suitable, or whether they would require data on the move through the use of the built in 4G LTE technology.
The Wi-Fi only option is pretty self explanatory, meaning that the only way you can connect to the internet using the iPad is through a wireless network, or in simple words; a Wi-Fi network, exactly in the same way that you would connect a laptop or desktop to a wireless router. The Wi-Fi + 4G models offer the added benefit of being able to insert a SIM card into the device to connect to a cellular data network in a similar fashion to how a mobile device works. The new iPad offers the possibility of connecting to a 4G data network, something which is limited in most countries so there is a high probability that users won’t be able to achieve more than 3G data speeds. The recent teardown of the new iPad in Australia has also shown that the 4G LTE model does not work with the LTE capable networks out there, so Australian users will be limited to 3G data speeds. Users do also need to be aware that a suitable data plan is required for the 4G models due to the requirement of a SIM card and the extensive amount of data that is used by the device.
The next thing to consider is the possible installation size of new iPad applications as developers make them Retina ready. One of the main benefits of iPad ownership is being able to take advantage of the 200,000+ dedicated iPad apps. Those apps make use of the large screen real estate on the iPad and are therefore generally more feature and media rich than their iPhone counterparts, making the overall installation size larger. With the new iPad coming with a beautiful Retina display, developers are forced to upgrade their existing applications to render correctly on this new screen resolution which will ultimately increase the overall download size. High quality games, such as Infinity Blade which are built on the Unreal Engine will also dramatically increase in size as the development teams maximize the potential of the new Retina display.
Thankfully, with Apple introducing products such as iCloud and iTunes Match, a lot of things can be backed up and stored remotely so they don’t take up a massive amount of storage space on device. However, if prospective buyers intend to take advantage of the beautiful apps available for the Retina display and intend to use the iPad as a means of media playback then it may prove a wise move to opt for one of the larger capacity models.
Our recommendation is that you buy the new iPad with at least 32GB of memory on board, why? Apps! They’re huge, if they are Retina ready.