After announcing the latest installment in tablet technology last week, one glaring detail about Apple’s new iPad remains: the lack of upgraded and improved features. But is there a good reason why the computer giant has been so afraid of change?
Apple announced the iPad at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The tablet is part of the tech giant’s current initiative to provide products and solutions for K-12 schools and will be available immediately to the public.
The device has a similar screen to the previous mid-range iPad, with a 9.7 inch screen with a high 2048 x 1536 resolution. ut the sharp resolution should still provide a nice display.
An important feature the latest line introduces is Apple’s A10 Bionic processor, which is not even the fastest processor available to Apple products at the moment. It’s the same processor used in the iPhone 7, while the iPhone X has a slightly faster one. Speaking from experience, it’s still fast and provides quality graphics while playing games, but will occasionally lag.
This iPad also supports the company’s stylus, the Apple Pencil, which goes for about $99 on the market and allows you to draw precise pictures in applications such as Apple’s Notes or advanced programs like “Adobe Photoshop Sketch.”
One feature that could have used some upgrades is the rear camera. The new iPad has an 8 MP camera like its predecessor and can only film full HD video, which is not impressive compared to the high resolution 4K video current iPhones can shoot. This is a feature Apple could have added to their mid-range iPad that wouldn’t have increased the cost by much.
The only other new feature the iPad offers is that you can buy it in the same gold finish the iPhone 8 comes in. Once again, Apple has added a change in color to a highly anticipated device, as if there were no other improvements needed such as the camera.
A huge reason why the iPad doesn’t have these improvements is because it would lead more people to buy a 9.7 inch iPad instead of its more expensive option, the iPad Pro. Apple isn’t going to offer a bigger screen, faster processor and stereo speakers for a $329 price. This is a trend often seen with Apple when announcing more than one product at a time. From their MacBooks to iPhones, the company consistently saves the best advancements for the more expensive products.
But I think the main reason for the lack of updates is because it will mainly be used in schools, a community that generally is a technology hub for new advancements while not necessarily requiring the best and latest devices.
Because many people prefer using large smartphones and laptops nowadays, there is not much reason to use a tablet anymore. Engadget’s sales chart shows that iPad sales have been steadily decreasing since 2014.
Because of this, one of the few reliable markets Apple could sell iPads to is the K-12 classroom, because some schools will buy hundreds of iPads to give to their students.
The announcement Tuesday mainly catered to the education market. A homework distribution app called “Classroom” and the new “Everyone Can Create” curriculum were both announced, with the hope that children learn to use their content creation apps like iMovie and GarageBand on iPads in the classroom
It’s understandable that if Apple added their more recent technologies like the facial recognition sensors and vibrant OLED screen technology to the iPad, it would drive up the cost.
Even so, Apple could have made more of an effort to improve the product if they wanted to sell the device to students and educators. It would have been very beneficial to students and teachers if the tablet had Apple’s Smart Connector so you could plug in their spacious Smart Keyboard case. In fact, they made bundles with the new iPad with either the Smart Keyboard or Apple Pencil included. It would help sales, especially since you have to buy those accessories separately on another popular tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro.
As a standalone tablet, the 9.7 inch iPad is still a good choice because it is going to have a great screen and the processor is still capable of fast performance and good graphics. This doesn’t take away from the fact that Apple still could have made some serious improvements and changes to create a more rounded out product, even if it’s for one target market.