Why You Will Never Need To Upgrade To A New iPad Every Year

Why You Will Never Need To Upgrade To A New iPad Every Year

The most common question I heard after the new iPad launch wasn’t about the retina display, or how I liked the camera. People didn’t ask which games were the best, or how fast it was. The number one thing people wanted to know was whether they should upgrade their iPad 2 to the new iPad. The answer is simple: No, you don’t need the new iPad if you have an iPad 2. But that doesn’t mean the new iPad is a disappointment.

The new iPad is the best tablet on the market by far, but that doesn’t necessitate an upgrade from an iPad 2. Disappointment in the new iPad mostly stems from our warped collective belief that technology should make monumental leaps forward every year. Nothing is more fun than having your mind blown away by a new device or features we never saw coming but it is impossible for any company to blow us away with each product upgrade. Technology doesn’t progress that rapidly, and no amount of magical applesauce will change that.

When the new iPad hit stores people wanted it to make their old iPad 2s obsolete. It didn’t, and so they said the new iPad was disappointing because there wasn’t an overwhelming reason to buy it. People wishing for product obsolescence with every new iPad are being naive. This isn’t the way technology works, and it would piss people off if it was. We would be outraged if our brand new $1200 iMacs were rendered obsolete within a year by a newer model, yet for some reason many people seem disappointed that Apple hasn’t enacted planned obsolescence for the iPad. Maybe they would have been happier if they just bought an HP TouchPad to as their first tablet.

Apple has never given us an overwhelming reason to buy the newest iPad, they’ve just added more reasons for us to get any iPad the same way they’ve given us so many reasons to buy a Mac. The “disappointment” surrounding the new iPad seems silly when placed in proper perspective. It is as though people are shouting, “Damn it, my iPad 2 is still really freaking good even though Apple just came out with ‘the new iPad?’ What an utter disappointment!”

The iPad is leading the charge into the Post-PC Revolution. Its destiny is to replace your desktop computers. iPad-buying habits should reflect this changing of the guard but many people do not understand the primary role of the iPad and think it needs to be replaced every year because it looks like an iPhone. The problem is that the iPad is not meant to act like a bigger iPhone. It’s more like a portable iMac. You don’t go out and buy a new iMac each time Apple updates the iMac or MacBook lines do you? Of course not! Most people purchase a main computer and use it for 2-4 years, if not longer. Why should your iPad – the device replacing your desktop – be any different?

Why You Will Never Need To Upgrade To A New iPad Every Year

Over the 14-year lifespan of the iMac, Apple has released 5 different designs. Ports have been changed. Screen sizes were increased a bit. Different materials were used in the frame. But for the most part, an iMac from 2002 looks and functions very similar to the newest iMac in 2012. The major difference between them has been the incremental spec bumps over the years. Each iteration of the iMac was created with the intention that it would be a viable machine for multiple years, not just one. The iPad will be in the same boat and won’t acquire radically new features every year. People complaining that the new iPad is “just a spec bump” fail to see that spec bumps fuel the evolution of technology in between the radical redesigns and feature upgrades that occur about every 3 years.

What features could have been added to the iPad this year so that it would not be a “disappointment?” If Apple had included NFC, glasses-free 3D, Thunderbolt and flexible cases in “the new iPad”, would the iPad 4 need holograms, teleportation and virtual sex for us to be satisfied next year? If you’re disappointed that the new iPad didn’t give you a mind-blowing reason to upgrade from the iPad 2 then you’re going to be continually disappointed with the progression of technology in general. The compulsive need to upgrade to the newest iPad should only come every 2-3 years after all the new incremental spec bumps have slowly turned your old iPad into a legacy device.

Yes, the new iPad is only marginally better than the iPad 2, just like last years iMacs were marginally better than the year before. You shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade, and you never should need to upgrade your iPad every year. The iPad has been magical the entire time, and the iPad you own will continue to stay relevant for 2-3 years. That’s the way it should be. Apple never disappointed us. We just forgot that true nerdgasms are hard to come-by.

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  • davehiggins1985

    Well said & totally agree!!

  • davehiggins1985

    Well said & totally agree!!

  • Mari-Xouana H Flou


    Disappointment in the new iPad mostly stems from … “

    They radically changed the display, the battery, the CPU and networking, in a device which is 90% display on the front, 90% battery on the back and 90% CPU and networking int the middle.
    Sure sounds like a disappointment…

  • Alexandru Mihnea MOUCHA

    Personaly I always buy the model of the last year. Buying the newest model is for me expensive and – for my use – useless. However the apparition of a new model always triggers a price drop of the newly become “old model” for either brand new devices bought from a shop or second-hand ones in impecable condition.

    Apple offers support and software updates / upgrades for around 3 years after the launch of an iOS device. So even with a year delay, you can still get a fairly good usage of the products. Of course, I ditch them before the end of the software support from Apple.

  • En_joy

    It doesn’t do anything new. It doesn’t open up new possibilities in computing like multitouch did.

  • Dr Hook

    I own a iPAD 1 and it still works magnificently, I suspect Apple maybe ‘Shooting Themselves in the Foot; by coming out with so many new models of a VERY POPULAR device in such a short time..They may appeal to those in ‘developed’ countries, but, for those of us in ‘developing’ countries, it’s a BUMMER..!! 

  • WINDOWSMUSBEDIE

    If they would have put a faster processor (not just graphics) it would be a completely different story for me.  And just because it doesn’t have that, I see no use in getting it over a Refurbished iPad 2.  Just my take on it.

  • Scott Roberts

    Although my experience with Mac’s has been backwards software incompatibility – have a non-Intel processor? Can’t run the latest Adobe Creative Suite. Got a new intel Mac? Now the OS is not compatible with an older Adobe Creative Suite. I’ve run into constant “abandonment” by Apple and the only way to keep up with them is to have tons of money for constant upgrading – hardware and software. Not complaining, it’s just their business model.

  • clasqm

    Wise words indeed. Except … no you don’t need a new phone every year either, that’s why we have two-year contracts.

  • alishabell

    Great article, everything you said is so true. I wish more tech bloggers would understand this.

  • Buster

    i think you’ve completely missed the point here. Apple is not shooting themselves in the foot. Each new product is essentially a spec bump. the iPad 2 was a spec bump. The iPad 4 will be a spec bump. Each spec bump makes the iPad line more appealing and better for people who feel like their tablet is getting long in the tooth and needs more performance

  • Buster

    agreed.

  • J_Dunn

    Pretty much spot on. People need to stop complaining every time a company doesn’t release exactly what that person thinks they should. The iPad 2 is still better than any other tablet on the market, which is what the article pretty much said.

  • benWV

    Totally disagree. You can buy a new iPad and then sell or pass on your older iPad to someone else, because even your older generation iPad holds significant value for the very reasons you mention. I don’t own an iPad, but I am happily on my third iPhone with the 4s and I look forward to the incremental improvements to the next iPhone.

  • SteveSorrel

    Why you will never need to read new articles on Cult of Mac?
    Ok, the reason is that all new articles is actually the same – it’s true. If you read new text – not mean that you find something new. You don’t need to read it because you already hear the idea to “not buy iPad” from Steve Ballmer or your Android friends.

  • Ilikestuff

    well thats not always the case. I was looking to replace my ancient phone on the cheap and upgrade to an iPhone 4. I remember last year, everyone was selling their iPhone 4 on ebay in anticipation for the iPhone 5, the yearly releases had been delayed and everyone was excited for the new phone so they were going for cheap on ebay. I know a lot of workmates who got unlocked versions for as little as €350, when the 4S came out, the price shot back up again and I actually can’t find ones lower than €430 inc. shipping. Anything cheaper is either locked to a carrier or is in a very bad state and requires a new case.

  • prof_peabody

    Re: the comments about how expensive upgrading is … 

    You can buy a new iPad every year for just over 40 bucks a month when averaged out over the year.  Most 1st world folks spend far more on their monthly coffee bill.  Add an off-contract iPhone every year and it’s another 40 or 50 bucks a month.  

    Internet and TV is between 70-150 a month.
    cellphone contract is 60-90 a month

    If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day that’s 300 a month 
    If you smoke one joint a day, that’s at least 150 -200 a month. 

    I could go on and on but the point is that taken as a monthly expense and compared to all the other crap we waste our money on, you could buy a new iPhone and a new iPad every year and still not be wasting half as much as the average person does on necessities (or indeed on absolute crap).   

    For instance if you currently smoke cigarettes and pot or even drink a beer now and then, you could quit and have enough money to buy ten or fifteen new iPads a year.  It’s not that expensive, it’s just a matter of what your priorities are. 

  • macgizmo

    You’re right. You should give away all your stuff and get out of the business right away!

  • Buster

    Good point, but i’m not talking saying you don’t need to upgrade your iPad because it’s two expensive, my main point is that any iPad you buy will be great for multiple years, so there’s no inherent need to upgrade every year unless you’re silly and think you need the newest thing every year….and it’s usually those type of people who think they need a new iPad every year that say the newest iPad is a huge disappointment.

  • Shaun Green

    “The iPad is leading the charge into the Post-PC Revolution”

    It always makes me laugh when I hear that phrase “Post-PC”. What a load of BS.

    The iPad is just another evolution of the PC (as in personal computer). PC’s have evolved over the years into many shapes and sizes from desktops to all-in-one desktops to laptops, netbooks, etc. The tablet is just another PC format. The iPad is not post anything.

  • Shameer Mulji

    If you think Apple is shooting themselves in the foot by releasing so many new products in short period of time then it’s a good thing you don’t buy Android devices.

  • southflguy

    It certainly opens up possibilities for photographers, heavy gamers, heavy ebook readers, etc…

  • Demonstr8r

    I couldn’t agree more. Too many expectations are way out of whack. However, I have upgraded my iPad with each new release, because after selling my previous iPad, the new iPad only cost me $300, which is not going to break the bank for me.

  • Alberto Hernandez

    What has in the past 4 years (besides original iPad)? Nothing radical in technology has happened since the iPhone in 2007. Apple did everything they could hardware-wise to upgrade the new iPad.

  • Alberto Hernandez

    So true. It isn’t for iPad 2 owners at all so opinions from iPad 2 owners should not be counted. I upgraded from an iPad 1 and it is absolutely fantastic. 

    99% of iPad shoppers probably won’t hear the word “disappointment” because they don’t read tech blogs anyway.

  • Alberto Hernandez

    The next iPhone will probably be a dramatic redesign (it HAS to be lol).

  • dcj001

    The new iPad is like the iPad 2…

    … then putting on a pair of glasses.

    Everything looks fine in the iPad 2. But, in the new iPad, everything looks really really good.

  • Demonstr8r

    I agree with the article, but I disagree with your comment. I’ve purchased a new iPad every year, yet my expectations are definitely not aligned with all of the naysayers out there. I bought the new iPad because it fully met my expectations. Specifically, I wanted the Retina display, and decided the $300 cost to upgrade was well worth it for me, but that is my personal decision. However, I don’t upgrade my laptop every year, nor do I have any plans to do so in the foreseeable future. Perhaps this is because I consider the iPad primarily a personal device that I also use for work, where my laptop is a primarily a device for work that I occasionally use for personal use. To each his own.

  • Jonathan Ober

    it’s all about capitalizing on new hardware and how the apps can better perform. As far as software keeping up with the hardware and working this is a moot point because I don’t expect Xbox 360 games to work on an older Xbox why would it? That is just a silly expectation to have backwards compatibility for that long.

  • alextheukrainian

    That’s absolutely fine, of course, but what would a faster processor do? The thing is 90% graphics. I just can’t imagine anything that 2 extra cores would allow that the new iPad can’t already do. I just played Sky Gamblers for hours – you fly in the air with several teammates and 30 or so enemies sometimes, with hundreds of bullets and dozens of missiles in the air at the same time, plus tanks, ships, helicopters… And the game is just gorgeous. If A5X can handle that effortlessly, what else do you need it to handle? Asking out of curiosity, I just don’t get the whole “I need extra cores” thing if what’s already there is insanely fast.

  • alextheukrainian

    I agree with the premise of the article. Calling the new iPad a marginal update, though, is insanity. If you know anything about engineering, you know that putting in THAT kind of display in such a small space, and having it look so beautiful (that is, without sacrificing quality), is just really, really hard. Once again, Apple leads the way and pushes tech one step forward. The slate is suuuuuuper fast to boot, and battery life is great without any significant sacrifice in size or weight. It is now truly a console-like device as far as games – sure, 1st gen Xbox 360 like, not maybe Gears of War 3 like, but still, that’s just freaking amazing. AND it has 4G on top of that? Are you kidding me! This thing is waaaay better than iPad 2. You guys judge by what it can do TODAY, which is dumb b/c Apple provides platform, not all functionality. Now that the platform is here, devs will build for it, and we’ll see some drop-dead gorgeous apps as well as better games, etc. etc.

  • dotbran

    The timeline is incorrect; the first aluminum iMacs were released in August of 2007.

    I disagree that iPhones are meant to be upgraded annually; if that were the case, AT&T would have paid more to keep exclusivity and Apple wouldn’t be using a tick-tock release schedule for all of their products.

    Also, “the device replacing your desktop”? I don’t think so. My iPad 2 doesn’t replace my desktop. Or my MacBook. It is simply incapable of doing what a computer can do. That is just a reality of tablets; they are more portable and intuitive but sacrifice some functionality and power. Avid and Apple can’t even match iMovie HD (remember, that’s from 2006) with their tablet editing applications, there are no good DAWs for tablets, Safari has inferior support for new standards compared to desktop browsers (it’s even bugging out in this very text field so I can’t select or scrub text), and the only way to get my stored media onto my iPad is through my computer.

  • MacHead

    Everything they possible could? Except SD card slot, HDMI port, better camera than a 4 year old lens,, 128gig HD, lighter/thinner…. Plenty morw could have been done hardware wise. Apple did what they always do a baby step upgrade.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Not really.  Apple spent a lot of time & resources in engineering the metal band around the iPhone 4/4S for the antenna system.  I don’t see them dropping it anytime soon.  By having the antenna system on the outside it allows the inside to have room for other stuff.

    Personally, I think the next iPhone will retain the same basic design as the 4S but it’ll be slimmer & lighter.  The only question is how big the screen will be.

  • tdhurst

    15 million iPad 1s sold.
    40 millions iPad 2s sold.
    WTF are you talking about?

  • tdhurst

    Yeah, it’s like they don’t want to be hamstring by older users when they upgrade their hardware or something.

    But unless I’m mistaken, your existing software will still run on your existing computer no matter how awesome the new model is.

  • tdhurst

    Here’s to that!

    I don’t smoke or drink, and my biggest hobby (running) is fairly cheap.

    So who the hell cares that I sell my old laptop for $700 and buy a new one almost every year?

    Sold every iPhone for around $200 and did the same thing, too.

    I like to have the newest stuff. That’s my hobby. I don’t care what everyone else gets.

  • Buster

    thanks for the date correction on the iMacs. I never said that iPhones are meant to be upgraded or should be upgraded annually, but many many people think they do and that wasn’t an area this article aimed to argue for or against. The iPad 2 definitely replaces the need for a desktop for many casual PC users and as the technology progresses it may be able to replace desktops for most consumers in 10 years. 

  • whnn

    Well said and I agree, my iPad 1 is great BUT there are several newer apps that I cannot use on my iPad 1 and I would also like a camera for FaceTime. If not for these reasons I would still be happy with my iPad 1 and not buy the new iPad.
    Ps.. I am planning to give my iPad 1 to my grandchildren.

  • bkx029

    This argument makes no sense. Each version of the iPhone that’s been released has proven more successful than the previous release. The iPad is also following the same trajectory. Explain to me how Apple is “shooting themselves in the foot” exactly..

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    The new iPad is amazing! It’s definitely the best iPad yet, and definitely makes the older iPads more than less attractive! The people who don’t see that aren’t interested in what Apple’s vision is, so I don’t know why they even bother to complain. Android doesn’t interest me, so I don’t watch Android and Google event because I’d spend the whole time saying “really? That’s a stupid and utterly useless feature! Why do they even try? Are they trying?” Well, to be honest, I do watch Google event, but apparently you can only do that if you’re mature. Because I don’t say the phrase I used as an example. I think Google is doing just fine, I just think Apple is doing quite better.

  • matthewdbenson

    I mostly agree, but wouldn’t it be fair to at least hope for Siri, and the same camera from the iPhone 4S (not the iPhone 4)?  Both of these exist on a device that has a lower spec processor, has been out for a good while, and is from their own stable.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Whenever. New space is conceived, it rapidly outpaces the rest of the industry. Just a few years ago, the iPad had 256MB of RAM, a single-core CPU, and what is now a joke of a GPU. What happened? We now have quad-core CPUs, quad-core or more GPUs, 1GB standard on most tablets, dual-cameras, NFC, crazy advanced applications and operating systems and AirPlay!! The iPad constantly raises the bar faster than traditional PCs and gaming systems. It’s in a league of its own compared to the rest of the industry. That’s why so many people upgrade and jump in every year. Do you see people buying new $500 laptops every year? No, because they’re reached their innovation limit. People know what laptops do and nothing has been added for a while. However, Apple seems to be changing that by infusing iPad blood into the mixture. By introducing Retina, Siri and other post-PC features, they’re continue the innovation where it left off in the late ’90s or so.

  • twitter-449248742

    Surely, if you’re a heavy gamer you’re going to have a console, or an incredibly high spec, overclocked and well cooled gaming rig? Surely, if you’re a photographer, you’re going to have a DSLR, filters, lenses, Adobe Photoshop (or Lightroom), a tripod, flash guns? If you’re a heavy ebook reader you could buy a Kindle?

    I can’t play CoD: MW3, online, on the iPad. The gaming experience would be… dreadful? I can’t edit my photos taken from my 10.1MP DSLR in the same way that my powerful laptop can. Sure, can add effects etc – not exactly what you would want at a digital media agency.

    Sure, the new iPad has a better camera. But if you’re a photographer, why would you be using a 5MP camera on a device the size of a book when you can use a REAL camera.

    Photography, gaming, “it can replace your PC”. No. They’re marketing gimmicks. I work in marketing, I can spot them a mile off. How am I going to get my photos off a CF or SD card onto an iPad? How am I going to play the market leading games? What about printing? Many people don’t realise that you can’t just use any printer, you must have a printer connected to AirPort, or a compatible wireless printer.

    The new iPad is the iPad 2, with 4G LTE (can’t be used on most of the planet), a better camera, more pixels on the screen and a faster processor. And if you like, 1GB RAM (rumoured). Like En_joy said, it doesn’t do anything new. It doesn’t open up new possibilities in computing.

    Pre-sale orders have broken records, which means one of two things:
    1. There were a lot of people without an iPad or iPad 2, who have suddenly decided in the midst of one of the worst global financial crises the world has ever known, that they should suddenly have one (unlikely), or,
    2. Apple’s marketing is so clever, that they have somehow made a lot of iPad 2 owners believe that this is the best thing since sliced bread and that upgrading is worth more than their life.

    Either way, this post has hit the nail on the head. But if you think going from 2 to the new one is worth the money, that’s your opinion. I don’t see it.

  • meletis3d

    I wont buy an ipad until they make aperture for it and i can edit RAW photos on it. For that you need all the juice you can get.

  • Alberto Hernandez

    You sound like an Android fanboy. They could have added all that crap and it would be an inch thick like some androids.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Because photography is an art. If you don’t know what an art is, you need to pick up a dictionary. There can be categories of art that include photos solely taken by iPhones. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are. Art has no stipulations, that’s why a lot of people love it and even more people hate it. There can be a class of art that purely revolves around the idea of taking and editing pictures on an iPad or tablet, in general.

    Regarding games: dedicated gaming consoles only game, gaming rigs, usually aren’t portable. Gaming laptops usually aren’t portable

  • Mwilliams713

    Exactly and for them to have a slimmer, lighter, and bigger screen the design will have to change. Hence the iPhone 3GS that design was used for two years and the one before that was used for one just like the original iPad that had an aluminum backing. Apple could have changed the design this year but they need a reason for people to comeback. And considering the disappointment people had because of the lack of hardware change it would be unwise to do it twice.

  • John

    It is interesting to see that some are disappointed in the new iPad. I guess if you are more content oriented that may be so. Reading a newspaper article you get the same information. However, if images, charts and graphs are important then the new iPad display really rocks. I have a PDF of a periodic table of the elements listing x-ray emission lines for each element. On the iPad 2 I can’t read these without zooming in. On the new iPad these fonts are tiny but readable. Same for my local train timetable. I’ve looked at galleries of some of my photographs and was greatly impresses. The new display not only has great resolution but the color rendering and contrast is greatly improved. I can see people working with large spread sheets being very happy with this update. In my work we use a lot of SEM, STEM images and high reolution maps of elemental distributions. For the first time we can view these at native resolution. For my field this is huge.

  • twitter-449248742

    I appreciate that. I am a hobbyist musician and photographer. Music is an art. The point is that the response by southflguy implied reference to the people who would otherwise be using proper equipment, i.e. hobbyists and professionals. I own the DSLR I mentioned. I own the expensive music equipment – keyboard, guitars, drum kit, recording hardware. I also own a MacBook Air, which is where my recording gets done. I also own an iPad 2. My opinion – why would I want a new iPad? I can’t record properly on the iPad. I can’t get my photos off my DSLR… on the iPad.

    With the exceptions of the camera, there’s nothing you can do from a photography point of view that you can’t currently do on the 2. But then if you’re going out spending hundreds of notes on a new iPad you probably also have a decent smartphone with a better camera – so just use Bluetooth or Wireless to transfer better quality images?

    In terms of gaming – not sure what consoles you’re referring to but I can stream music, watch TV and movies, chat and game on my Xbox 360. Sure, can’t do as much as the iPad but at least you get a real gaming experience.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    The iPad does have an SD card slot solution. Apparently you’ve never heard of the camera connection kit. You can complain that it doesn’t have SD card solution built-in, but don’t complain it doesn’t have an answer at all. That’s just ignorance.

    So, it’s a bad thing for the iPad that “most of the world” hasn’t advanced towards 4G? That’s just plain stupid! Maybe Apple devices could serve as a catalyst to get these countries up to speed? I don’t see how anybody could peg that as a negative, that’s incredible.

    The new iPad does have 1GB of RAM, it’s not rumored. It doesn’t do a whole lot of new things, but Apple has to perfect what it already does in order to move on to the next thing. That’s why Android sucks so much: they spend so much time adding quad-core CPUs that they forget they rest of the Android industry doesn’t have quad-core, so why would the devs develop quad-core software, when most still use and love dual-core hardware? Of course, according you you, faster components don’t yield new features, so what’s left? What should Apple do to change the space when most were complaining that they couldn’t even read the damn screen for more than a couple hours because of the resolution. To many apple did add a feature: the ability to read.

    So, fifteen million people buy the first iPad, the second version was sold forty million times….and you doubt more people jumped in? How many unique iPad 2 users? Do the math and that’s twenty-five million unique iPad 2 users, assuming every singe iPad 1 user upgraded, right? Your belief has no supporting evidence lol. All the proof shows that the iPad sector is rapidly growing by at least ten million a year.

  • eyeseeyou

    I was under the impression that the new version of iPhoto can handle raw photos.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    The term post-PC comes from the idea that PCs weren’t really personal computers in the sense of the word. PCs are really computers that you do work on and some play. Well, Apple didn’t want to associate that term with the new tablet, iPad, because it implies the old way of thinking. As Steve Jobs said it: the iPad is so much more personal than a computer and so much more powerful than a smartphone. So, if the iPad is more personal than a computer, how could it be a standard “PC?” It’s not. That’s why we have post-PC. Post-PC ushers the new idea of computers that are alway on you. The smartphone is Post-PC, iPods are post-PC, iPads are post-PC. I don’t know if handheld gaming systems are post-PC, only because they really don’t do much more other than games.

  • twitter-449248742

    No I’ve never heard of the Camera Connection Kit. Mainly because, as a hobbyist photographer with the proper kit, I already have everything I need. And so would others like myself.

    Sorry, my belief? No. Just opinion. If you hadn’t noticed, I’m just sharing the opinion of the writer of this post. And several other post writers out there, who also put their two cents in on the question, “should I upgrade to the new iPad?” A lot of Apple fanbois out there “believe” that Apple is king. No, it’s a hugely successful technology company with a very good product range. A lot of the believers forget that Apple was in serious trouble; if not for Steve Jobs, the company would likely not exist today. I don’t “believe” anything, I purchase the products that do the job I need them to do.

    It depends on what the faster hardware is? Most people don’t notice the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 RAM, even though DDR3 has higher clock speeds than 2. Does that, therefore, show that DDR3 has yielded new features? Of course not. Hardware is reaching limits the way it is currently produced – that’s why R&D is seeking new ways to develop software. But today’s computer specs, most every day users won’t experience slowdown like they used to. If they do – reinstall, it’ll go back to the speed it was when you first bought it.

    The iPad sector may well be rapidly growing, my point is that the original post which answers the question “should I upgrade an iPad 2 with the new iPad” with an opinion, is, in my opinion, well founded.

    Why do you feel the need to attack my opinions so? Everyone is entitled to theirs, I’m just not drawn in to Apple’s enchanting once-a-year upgrade cycle.

  • twitter-449248742

    Why should the opinions of iPad 2 owners by discounted? The opening text of the post says “The number one thing people wanted to know was whether they should upgrade their iPad 2 to the new iPad.”

    Therefore, surely the question involves iPad 2 owners?

  • jgr627

    Very well said and thanks for the research I dont understand how other blogs can say that the 3rd gen iPad is a pass……that’s y cultofmac is at the top of my list on my bookmarks forget them cheesy other sites

  • MacHead

    I don’t own any android products and countless apple. You just buy into hype instead of having a brain of your own. Im not saying this iPad isn’t amazing but ur logic that apple did everything possible in terms of hardware is laughable

  • sach160

    Happ with the update in general but they could have improved the speaker. Why mono sound? It’s the software that’s really lacking still, – don’t get me started on not being able to delete photos or add an attachment to an email you’re writing. Basic things you’d expect are still missing.

  • Alberto Hernandez

    If Apple added anything else the device would be thicker and pricier. You have to be a complete moron to think otherwise. 

  • NeonHighways

    Well, the high resolution screen would be a reason for a photographer’s ipad update, wouldn’t it? That screen also has greater saturation, wich means stunning photo viewing /showing.
    You speak like you just take the photos. Don’t you enjoy taking a time to appreciate your art?

  • Alberto Hernandez

    Ok and the answer would be “No” 98% of time. The other 2% is if money is no object or it is gifted.

  • CharliK

    Giving a blanket no is erroneous and rather egotistical. It presumes that you know exactly what folks are doing with their iPads in order to say that the iPad 2 is just fine. maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. 
    If the iPad 2 is fine for what a particular person is doing with it then sure, there’s no need to upgrade. certainly my dad who is mainly face timing his kids, reading email etc doesn’t have to have the iPad 3, his iPad 2 can still do all that just fine. Myself however is another story. I do high graphic work and the added display quality and GPU would be of use. I’m not rushing out to get it day one but the iPad 3 for me is more of a must have 

  • CharliK

    No one is forcing you to buy the new one. If your current one is still working ‘magnificently’ then don’t replace it. 

    But for some folks, an upgrade is warranted. And given the dropping costs of components it would be lame for Apple to keep making that same iPad 1 at the same price but more profit for them. Sure we know they are in this to make money but consumers always want their money’s worth. More bang for the buck is a way to do that

  • CharliK

    Nope. it edits jpeg. Higher level jpeg perhaps but still just jpeg. 

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT

  • CharliK

    I will argue that for ‘most consumers’ the iPad will replace the need for a desktop or even laptop in more like 3-5 years. Because ‘most consumers’ are just casual PC users. They need a house computer as a media hub and little more. 

    There’s only perhaps 5-10% of computer users that will need a ‘real’ computer and for many of those one at the office for the heavy work will be fine. THey will be like the larger casual group at home. Central computer hub off which there’s the smart tv or tv STB and everyone has their own personal device. 

  • CharliK

    I don’t think that anyone is disputing the iPad 1 to anything else. Just the iPad 2 to the iPad 3. For many folks the differences really don’t matter. To folks like heavy gamers or my siblings who are part of an iPad pilot program at school and are using apps like Starwalk in their science class, it could make a noticeable difference. 

    At work, my boss is increasing our collection of iPads and yes he’s buying the iPad 3. Those of us with seniority will get those and our iPad 2s will go to the PA etc

  • CharliK

    Tim Cook clarified Apple’s use of the term in the keynote. As he put it, they are referring to the notion of a computer on a desk as the center of people’s digital world. Now we are in a time when it is just another device and sometimes even just a hub for our other things. 

    And I have to agree. We are moving away from the desk. We are also moving away from this notion of an object for each purpose shared by a group of people and into an object for each person that has many purposes. 

  • CharliK

    You are the opposite of the people that I think Buster is talking about (but perhaps not explaining himself very well). 

    He’s naysaying against the folks that buy something new simply because it is new. Not because they have a use for the changed stuff etc. These ‘because it is the latest and greatest’ folks are more often than not the ones that poo poo the baby step upgrades because it isn’t enough for them. Forgetting that these devices are designed and even warrantied (via Apple Care) to be replaced every two years, which is how most folks will do it anyway. 

  • CharliK

    If you ask the naysayers, sure. When it is not because Apple is happy with the current design they will call it a fail. 

    when the iPad (4th Gen) has the same design, it too will be a fail. 

  • CharliK

    so I guess you will call it all a fail until it has mind control or holograms that shoot up off the surface. 

  • CharliK

    Why do they need an SD card slot or any of the rest of it. Only perhaps 1% of users are demanding any of it. the rest are fine with the way things are

    oh and if they make it any thinner with current battery tech that would mean cutting back on battery life. And folks would be screaming fail due to that

  • John Howell

    t like the cheapest way into a new mac is to buy one from last year. Second hand Macs are still pretty awesome. In 2010 I bought myself a Mac Mini from 2008. It is still a great little machne, only its RAM limit of 2GB and slow SATA I HDD controller started to make it feel a little old as Lion arrived, so I upgraded to a 2011 mini, brand new. I’ll probaly kep this one for 3 to 4 years as it does thunderbolt, and can take another 4GH RAM when I want to beef it up. The processors in modern machines havnt really been worked hard for anything except games for ages.
    AS for my iPad2, I am still verry happy with it, nd no reason to upgrade is good because it’s only one year old, but the ‘drods have started to catch up, but apart from an Asus Transformer, nothring has made me feel like my iPad is obsolete. (its the extra battery life in the kybord of the transformer I want. I’ve got an external keyboad for my iPad already)
    But if I had waited for the ‘Droids to catch up, I would have had to wait a whole year. Now in the comming year, they will get faster again, but the ones that are as good as the iPad still cost more. And as no phone has yet matched the iPhone4 retina screen, I doubt that they will match it for tablets either, except Samsun, as they make Apples screens, but they might have a court case pending if they try that 8)

  • MacHead

    Photographers user SD cards like mofos and that’s a fact. But again you missed the point. Undefined claimed apple but every possible form of hardware into the new iPad and that was just blatantly not the case.

  • John Howell

    What the iPad has changed: I took about 300 photos for my sons and daughter birthday on my 8MP SLR, and when I got home plugged the camera into the Mac and uploaded the photos into iPhoto. That was still pretty much like it has been for 10 years.
    Then after dinner, without having to go down to m PC, or have a hot noisy laptop on my lap, I sat in the lounge and culled the photos that has shown up on the stream in the ipad using iPhoto for iOS. Removed Red Eye, tagged with faces, place detail, cropped a few, ran some others through filters, and then shared iCloud and Facebook. By the next day, I had comments and likes from family and friends from around the planet that I read from my bed on Sunday morning.
    All that was still possible on Last years iPad. The new one would only have made the pictures on the screen I was working on a little bit better.
    All that was much more enjoyable using the iPad
    Most android tabs would have been out of battery about half way through 8)

  • John Howell

    An iPad needs an SD slot like my Mac needs a floppy drive 8)
    Actually, my Sony SLR (uses a stupid Sony Memory Stick, not SD anyway) needs a network card 8)

  • whnn

    I agree with you for those people that primarily use the iPad for email, browsing the Internet, looking at a few family pics, and playing a few simple games the differences really don’t matter. But over the last two years I have learned that the iPad is capable of so much more. For me, the iPad has become a production tool and not simply a tool for consumption of media. I am an Earth and Space science teacher and the iPad has become a valuable tool for both me and my students. When I started teaching we used reams of paper and then over time technology allowed us to use desktop computers and then laptops and now the iPad. Throughout my teaching I have found that technology is the hook to help my kids learn and I cannot imagine what the technology will be when my grandchildren are older.

  • joewaylo

    Well there is one reason to buy it this year anyways. If you have an iPad 2 3G and want LTE which gives you 7x the speed for the moment, there’s the reason. At least until we get too many iPads and 7x goes back to 3G speeds.

  • John Howell

    The revolutionary product all happened about 3 years ago. iPod gave birth to the iPod Touch. Apple worked out how to get a great small touch screen and OS to work well, then they added a cellphone to it (unlike Motorolla who completely bungled adding an iPad to a cellphone instead).
    Then they made it bigger. Then they worked out how to add an even better screen to the phones and the iPod Touch, then they added the better screen and better batteries to the iPad (and kept the price the same)

    Exactly how could they make the iPhone and iPad better? Put RFID or card readers in – more battery and more bulk, and I am really not interested in having my cellphone company as my bank.
    I would like more options for third parties to add services or customisations to the OS, but people like my Sister and my wife who really arent. My wife has actually been using my old iPhone3G and loves it. She is however eyeing up my iPhone4 when the next phone comes out and I upgrade. 8)

  • Richard

    if you use your iPad for photos, then you probably want the new one.  If you want a lot faster internet access with LTE, then you probably want the new one.  if you are using it for a lot of high resolution games, then you’ll probably want the new one.  if you plan on doing a lot of 1080p viewing of videos and taking 1080p videos, then you’ll probably want the new one.  If you want to run more apps at the same time and not run out of memory, then you probably want the new one.  

  • Michael De Lazzer

    Jumping from iPad 2 to iPad 3 was well worth it to me.  I am a photographer, and I was only willing to consider an iPad 3 if they released it with the higher resolution display.  Showing my work on this incredible display was worth every penny, to me, anyway.  

    There are several ways to move photos directly off your camera to the iPad, some of which are automatic.  An Eye-fi card will send photos wirelessly to the iPad as you take them– great because there are situations where bringing my full laptop isn’t a viable solution.  It’s basically an SD card with a wi-fi connection in the card.  The camera connection kit will do it via USB or CF card.  

    I also couldn’t stand reading much more than an article on the iPad 2, whereas the new one opens me up to reading something in long format.  

    The cherry on the deal for me was the wi-fi hotspot feature.  AT&T would let me enable it on the iPhone, but only if I gave up my unlimited data plan.  The Verizon iPad solves this problem, and gives me an LTE network to connect– which is readily available in Los Angeles, where I live.

    So the device was a huge upgrade in my world, but I can see where others might be less impressed.  

  • Michael De Lazzer

    An Eye-fi card will do this without removing the card from your camera.

  • Clement Yeo

    get 1 if u dont have any tablet yet
    skip it if u already have a tablet

  • snookasnoo

    No it just has a screen several orders of magnitude batter and same for internet connectivity.  Thats all.

  • Fodiographer

    Great article Buster ..really good read!

  • Figurative

    The question you need to ask before buying – does this new product meet my current and near term requirements?  If so, buy it.  If you really travel a lot and mobile speed is important and that’s your requirement, then by all means upgrade from your iPad 2.  You’ll get a decent amount of cash for it.  I bought the iPad 1 and skipped the iPad 2.  I’ll get the 3 because I do travel and would use the fast LTE connection.  I also take a lot of photos and the Retina Display is a worthy upgrade.

  • Brandon Dillon

    This would make for a good promotional commercial/video.

  • Brandon Dillon

    SD card slot, no because they are moving away from physical media. HDMI port, similar reason for no, they are moving away from cables and going wireless with AirPlay, the camera I think is pretty amazing for the size. The HDD may come, but the price would be steep.

  • Miki Matkovcik

    if the new iPad had a quad core processor, it would be a disaster for apple app-wise. Developers wouldn’t be ready with quad core, as they were only introduced to dual core only last year :/ Besides, realistically, do we even need more than two cores on these small devices? The A5X is actually quite a pathetically weak chip compared to x86 core i7, so multithreading seems kind of useless to me. 

  • nicole klein

    I need this to be posted in the apple store where I work. This would help a lot of unhappy customers that come in complaint its not as cool as they thought it was going to be. This was also extremely well said and I completely agree with every word.

  • jaevincom

    Totally agreed. All I can say is the bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    No, the only implied thought was from you. She/he made an extremely vague statement. He didn’t say professional photographers, he just said photographers. In any case, even if he did say professional photographers, the iPad would be a great place to enjoy those photos because of the high resolution.

    iPad excepts quarter-inch to 3.5mm jacks that allow you to plug guitars right in to the system. Of course, the iPad 2 did that, but that doesn’t require new hardware either. And again, the camera connection kit gives you the power to get DSLR pics onto the iPad. I mean, didn’t you do any research before just saying BS? You say you have an iPad–did you just buy it without seeing what it could do for you? GarageBand has been out for iPad for a year. iPhoto just came out after the iPad announcement. Yeah, you could port over pics from a smartphone, but enjoying them will be a lot better on a higher resolution display. I mean, I’m no professional, but I’m pretty sure pictures will shine more on the new iPad over the iPad 2.

    No console is portable. You said you can’t play CoD on the iPad and I said a 360 isn’t portable. If the 360 was portable, like a Vita, it wouldn’t play CoD or battlefield either. Can 360 play Infinity Blade? Can a 360 wirelessly connect to a set top box and send a video image to your TV? Can it then launch a game on both its own display and on the TV? No. No, it can’t. So you list cons of the iPad when it’s not a fair comparison to begin with. And you don’t get to decide what’s a “real gaming experience.” To many, words with friends, hanging with friends, draw something and FarmVille are “real gaming experiences.”

  • Steven Shaw

    Buster they pay you to write such drivel?

  • Steven Shaw

    Buster they pay you to write such drivel? Why didn’t Apple put quad core processor,128gb hard disk  and 2gb of ram in the ‘new ipad’?No even a wiff of siri? Why didn’t they give a better camera  and a a retina screen in the ipad2? What wasn’t the tech available then?
    I never once bought into Apple because of their closed box/custom parts system and exorbitant pricing……sure their stuff works but if I bought a pc 4yrs ago I could every year open the box and add an bigger hard disk,new processor, more memory,new motherboard and a ferrari graphic card…I could upgrade incrementally and affordable when I chose.
    Sure Apples boxes looked great…but where are they now?
    I still have an old x486 in the shed that can run linux on and which could double as a media hub.
    I jailbroke my ipad2 and it is soooo ipad4 at the moment that I think Steve Jobs is busy conning  the devil at the moment.
    Why isn’t even the top5 cydia tweaks implemented in ios 5.1?
    Those are the questions need answering.
    I don’t need a fancy new camera for my ipad , I should be able to connect my canon 18mega pixel camera to my ipad to take pictures and any other peripheral to my device to enhance my $800+ investment….but no …just anther closed box that is a bit cooler than the media streaming device I shelled out for not so long ago.
    Is that the way technology works or the the way greedy Apple works? I thought accourding to Moore’s law tech doubled 2 fold every 18 months…..is ‘ipad3′ even a shadow of this?
    Why aren’t apple building sustainable machines that you can just slot in upgraded chips/processors?
    They are just busy screwing Africa for  it’s resources, sweat shops for the Asians and building new piles of money with your kids inheritance to add to their 100 billion plus pile already amassed.
    I’m not sympathetic to your article Buster, whats the plan 3yrs from now?
    55 million devices thus far sold…..whose garden are those devices gonna land in when Apple unveils its ipad6, complete with quad core processing and siri?
    You would have to be in a cult to really wanna buy into Apples scheme of things.
     

  • captainjy

    We owned an iPad 1 and since Apple is horrendous at updating older devices with major releases, my wife was sick of the lag.  I even restored as new and still saw the lag.  I still think this is on purpose…anyhow, we bought an iPad 3 for the new display and faster CPU, but it’ll likely take second fiddle to a Windows 8 tablet.  All this being said, there’s 2 mechanisms, IMO, why people feel like they “have” go out and buy an iPad- the “cool” factor and/or the basic human need to collect things.  People like new things whether they need it or not.  To tell you the truth, if our iPad 1 wasn’t such a laggy, steamping pile of poo, we’d have stayed with it for years, but it got so bad that I stopped using it.  And when my wife, who never notices lag starts complaining, it’s usually the real deal.  

  • Fragmintz

    Amen. I have wanted an iPad for two years and held off getting one until now. As a Mac user of 25 years this is a big step forward for me, and I’m happy with what Apple put out (can’t wait to get my hands on it – not until I return to the US next week from overseas). In may case, I think the whiners need to stop complaining, look at the leaps forward we did make and look to the future possibilities from here.

  • Fragmintz

    Not interested in having your cell phone company as your bank? Brother, I want it all on my cell phone including government IDs, payment systems and house keys (there should be an app for that). I want it that the only thing I carry in my pocket is my iPhone 5. There’s the future. : )

  • MacHead

    Ok this is the last time Im going to say this. I dont care what apple puts in the iPad. I never said I wanted those things. I was addressing Undefineds claim that Apple put everything into the iPads hardware that is possible. It doesnt matter if Apple wants these things or not. They are things that could be added making his point simply wrong.

  • Martin Topinka

    I mostly agree. Maybe the financial crisis is not as bad as I thought. Moreover, loads of people prefer to have one box with complex functionality for a price of a compromise (e.g. I prefer to have mp3 player, phone, gps, email client etc. on one device – actually an iPhone). It’s doubtlessly an amazingly great marketing from Apple, but also supported from the software developers, you want this or that piece of software – you must upgrade otherwise the performance would be poor (a good example is hardware prerequisites of turn-base strategy Civ IV/V). IMHO the iPad camera is not for taking breath-taking pictures but to help if you want take a snapshot of a slide when taking notes or copy a page from a book (this I naively expected from the iPad 2 and before I realized how crappy it was) or to use it if you don’t have any better camera at the moment. If I didn’t have an iPad 2 (and a new born baby that costs me a fortune), I would be definitely considering to buy one, among the tablets it’s the number #1.

  • warrengonline

    I’m upgraded from iPad2 to iPad 3rd Gen because I was cheap when I bought the iPad2 16GB.  16GB is just TOO small.  So the iPad 3rd Gen 64GB is for me.  So, now I can skip the iPad 4th Gen.  Even if it comes with an SD or MicroSD Card Slot.

  • Mohy

    A good article Buster…

  • Andrew Vaz

    It’s called the camera connection kit. Please research before posting

  • MacHead

    Everyone knows about the connection kit moron. The point is NOT TO HAVE TO CARRY AROUND MORE JUNK! Please use your brain before replying.

  • iphonejailbreak

    of couse you cant upgrade you device every year :)
    http://www.zelahit.co.il/

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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