The font of all tech product gossip is back in the press again today with a new rumor about the next iPad Air which I am documenting here less because I think it will come true than because the shinyness factor if it did come to pass:
Apple is expected to unveil new models of its iPad Air in March 2016 and production will start in the second quarter, with General Interface Solution and TPK Holding to supply touch panels, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
The new 9.7-inch device will reportedly come equipped with a 4K resolution panel and up to 4GB in RAM, in addition to improved battery life.
Released in 2014, the iPad Air 2 sports 2GB RAM and a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536, so the new model (if it lives up to the rumors) would have double the RAM and quadruple as many pixels.
There were also rumors yesterday that new iPad Air 3 would be announced in March and have four speakers. That I could see happening, but not the new screen resolution or the bump in RAM.
My disbelief/ disinterest can be summed up in three words: software, streaming, and storage.
- iOS 9 doesn’t have the software to make full use of the iPad Air, much less the rumored specs we’re discussing today. (Have you tried the so-called multi-tasking features? I could do more in 1996 with a 486SX chip and 8MB RAM.)
- And even if iOS 9 did have the software, it doesn’t have the storage for any appreciable amount of 4K video.
- Nor is streaming a viable option, not unless you’ve upgraded your Wifi.
In retrospect, this list looks more like a list of reasons why I wouldn’t buy the new iPad Air with these specs than valid arguments against the rumored specs, but either way I really don’t believe this rumor.
Yes, the new model would give iPad sales a shot in the arm (it’s worked before) but the better way to boost sales in the long term would be to tap into new markets. If the iPad could do more, if it had better software which made it less an accessory and more of a work tool in its own right, then there would be more potential customers to recruit.
As it stands, the people who can use the iPad as a tool and not an accessory are the exception and not the rule.