Apple Upgrades Apple TV and iPad
Apple has announced the introduction of a new version of its Apple TV and iPad range. With approximately 70 million iPads forecast to be shipped in 2012 (71% up on 2011), there remains an insatiable appetite for Apple products around the world. Whilst neither announcement is especially ground-breaking, the success of the iPhone 4S, which was greeted with hoots of derision by tech-blogs, shows that the general public doesn’t seem to care. There are multiple additional features and upgrades with no major price hike so these latest announcements are unlikely to see this demand change significant and if anything could well increase it.
Apple TV has been around now for a few years. With the addition of HD, and the price staying the same, this is likely to be a tempting offer for iPad purchasers because of the AirPlay functionality, which allows users to flip content to a TV. There were no new content partners announced, though competitors are hardly likely to welcome the improved specs and static price.
The larger of the two announcements introduces a new iPad that has been completely upgraded internally but left virtually untouched externally (same look, feel, weight, etc). New features include 4G capabilities, improved graphics that are now better than an Xbox 360 or PS3, faster processor, improved camera (both still and video) and, in a related announcement and perhaps most intriguingly, iPhoto, which allows touch editing of photos on the iPad.
The new iPad will be available at a range of prices from March 16th in the US and is available for pre-order immediately. International roll-out dates will vary. The iPad 2 will also be continued to be sold, but at a reduced price, a move which is likely to worry Amazon and the manufacturers of some Android tablets, for whom price has been a major selling point up till now.
Implications surround the HD upgrade as with the capability baked in, the iPad and Apple TV have jumped from junior to a heavy-weight entertainment centre, which has implications for TV manufacturers, gaming companies, broadband providers, and telecoms companies who are all scrambling to cope with the HD revolution and adoption rates.
The media industry can expect a higher penetration of Apple devices meaning a richer environment to play in from a creative standpoint and as well as larger consumer base to reach within the Apple ecosystem.
However, what really stands out is that the talk from Apple about a ‘post-PC world’, started by Steve Jobs and continued by his replacement Tim Cook, is actually starting to look realistic. iPad’s currently outsell any single PC manufacturer, and it now seems realistic to imagine a not-too-distant-world where iPads and tablets are the primary computing devices in most homes.
Three years after its introduction the iPad still reigns supreme in the eyes of the consumer and media alike. No other tablet has yet to make a real dent into this arena when it comes to desirability or simplicity. The changes announced will make both the iPad and Apple TV even more desirable devices, which will equate to a likely increase in market domination from Apple and an even more urgent need for brands to decide how they wish to connect with consumers in and outside the Apple ecosystem, particularly the proper balance between applications and Web site(s).
Author: Paul Armstrong