Pogue on the New iPad

David Pogue:

Weirdly, though, speech-to-text is the only piece of Siri, Apple’s smart voice-control software, that the new iPad inherits from the iPhone 4S. You don’t get the rest of Siri’s features: the ability to set alarms, send text messages, look up calendar appointments and snag facts from the Web just by asking out loud. That the full Siri isn’t available smacks more of a marketing department holdback than technical limitations.

I understand the theory that Apple has kept Siri exclusive to the iPhone 4S as a marketing carrot to spur existing iPhone users to upgrade to the latest model. But what marketing advantage would Apple gain by withholding Siri from a new product like the iPad (3)? Maybe it is technical: not a technical issue on the device itself, which has a faster processor than the iPhone 4S, but rather on Siri’s cloud-based back end. If Apple’s Siri servers are struggling to keep up with usage demand today, with Siri limited to the 4S, they’d do even worse after a soon-to-be-avalanche of iPad (3) users jump on board.

The new iPad doesn’t introduce anything that we haven’t seen before, either in the iPhone or in rival tablets. There’s no Steve Jobs “one more thing” moment here; Apple just took its white-hot iPad and added the latest screen, battery and cellular technologies.

This strikes me as overly cynical. We’ve seen an IPS retina display in a consumer product before, but only at 3.5 inches. What product have we seen with a 9.7-inch IPS retina display? What product have we seen that gets 8 hours of battery life surfing the web on LTE?

Thursday, 15 March 2012