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New iPad, Lower-Priced iPad 2 To Stave Off Competition

3/12/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple’s new iPad breaks some
new ground in the tablet industry, becoming the first
tablet with 2,048 by 1,536 display resolution, 264-pixels-
per-inch sharpness, and speak-to-type voice dictation.

In other ways, the new iPad played catch-up with select
competitors by adding such features as 4G HSPA+
and LTE, 5-megapixel camera, camera face detection
and 1080p video capture.

However you assess the product’s advances, analysts
expect the device will help Apple maintain or possibly
increase tablet share – at least through this year — despite
rising competition from $199 Android alternatives from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a growing
selection of Android 4.0-based tablets
with LTE, and the expected launch late this
year or early next of ARM-based Windows
8-based tablets, which will share their OS
with PCs and laptops.

Analysts also expect Apple to gain share
by keeping the 16GB iPad 2 in the line and
dropping its price by $100 to $399 for
the Wi-Fi model and to $529 for the 3Gequipped
versions for Verizon and AT&T.

Apple did not call the new product the
iPad 3, referring to it only as the “new iPad.”
It will be available March 16 in black and
white with the same prices, 9.7-inch screen
size, and memory capacities as the previousgeneration
WI-Fi and 3G models.

“For me, the most important action is maintaining
the iPad 2 in the market,” The NPD
Grou’s industry analysis VP Stephen Baker
told TWICE. “This indicates to me that they
are looking to accelerate the adoption and
ownership of the iPad in more demographics
than can currently play today. It also allows
them to be more competitive with other
Android tablets and entry-level PCs as well,
which is where the big volume opportunity is.”

U.K.-based IMS Research found that Apple
dominated the world tablet PC market
with a 62 percent share in 2011, and despite
growing competition, forecast that Apple
will boost its share to 70 percent in 2012,
thanks to the introductions.

For its part, IHS iSuppli said the introductions
will enable Apple “to retake some of
the market share lost to Android competitors
in the fourth quarter of 2011.” The research
company forecasts that Apple’s 2012 share
of global tablet shipments will hit 61 percent,
up from 57 percent in the fourth quarter of
2011. Though it forecasts Apple’s full-year
2012 share to decline slightly from 2011’s 62
percent, “the company is set to maintain its
majority position in the media tablet market
into 2014, when it still will hold a 52 percent
share of global shipments,” IHS iSuppli said.

“While not always first to market with a particular
feature, Apple engineers are careful to
select new attributes that are sure to improve
the overall end-user experience,” said Rhoda
Alexander, IHS tablet and monitor research senior
manager. “None of the iPad competitors
has demonstrated the capability to compete
head to head with Apple at a premium price
point,” she continued. “With the arrival Windows
8 on ARM microprocessors postponed
to 2013, and most of the Android competitors
now regrouping, IHS has lowered the media
tablet forecast for Apple competitors in 2012.”

For his part, IMS PC analyst Gerry Xu expects
Apple to gain share in part because of
the “large customer base loyal to Apple products
that have been waiting for the latest tablet.”
Many iPad 1 owners “are also expected
to upgrade to the latest release,” he added. In
addition to consumer demand, he also forecast
Apple share gains resulting from aggressive
marketing into the enterprise and education
markets.

To date, there is “no significant threat to
the iPad’s continued dominance in the tablet market,”
Xu said. “Only modest growth is forecast for non-iPad
tablets,” and of these, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and several
Win8 tablets, due in late 2012, are forecast to be most
successful.

For his part, Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach expects
Apple to “retain its market leading position through 2012”
because “it will take time for Android 4.0 and Windows 8
based products to come to market.”

Longer term, the situation is different.

“Google has finally bridged the smartphone and tablet
divide with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), offering
developers a unified platform for the two types of device,”
Leach said. “This should increase the number of tabletoptimized
applications, which were notably absent from
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).”

In addition, “Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8 on
ARM [chips] and its shift away from Intel for tablets will
drastically increase the company’s ability to compete on
price point and user experience with Apple,” he said.

Among the enhancements in the new iPad are a faster
dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics processing
unit compared to the iPad 2’s A5 dual-core processor.
The QXGA 2,048 by 1,536 resolution Retina display with
264 pixels per inch compares to the iPad 2’s XGA 1024x768
resolution.

In improving the back camera, Apple raised video capture
from 720p/30 fps to 1080p/30 fps and added such
features as autofocus, automatic white balance, face detection,
f/2.4 lens and hybrid infrared filter to filter out IR
rays for better color accuracy.

Battery life remains the same at 10 hours of web surfing
and video playing over Wi-Fi and nine hours of web surfing
via cellular. Thickness goes up slightly to 9.4mm for the
Wi-Fi and 4G versions, from 8.8mm.

The AT&T version features 73Mbps 4G LTE in the
700MHz band and 4G HSPA+ 21Mbps and 4G 42Mbps
DC-HSDPA in the AT&T 850/1,900MHz band and foreign
900/2,100MHz bands. The AT&T version of the iPad 2 offered
3G HSPA data.

The Verizon version gets expanded international roaming
capabilities with the inclusion of HSPA+ and DCHSDPA
and GSM/EDGE data in the 850/1,900MHz and
900/2,100MHz bands. In U.S. bands, the Verizon tablet
operates in the 700MHz band for LTE and in 3G CDMA
EV-DO Rev. A.

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