A 64-bit chip would move the iPad closer to being laptop surrogate, but more is needed to achieve adaptive computing
At 10 a.m. PT today, Apple is expected to show off new iPad and iPad Mini models. In the month before the iPhone 5c and 5s were announced, there were constant rumors about what they would sport. On the whole, the rumor mill was very accurate, no doubt thanks to a little help from Apple to keep the iPhone top of mind. By contrast, there have been few rumors circulating about the new iPads.
Does that mean Apple has shocks in store — or that there’s actually not much to say about them? I’m betting on the latter. I fully expect Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, and fingerprint scanner (all introduced in the iPhone 5s) to make their way on to the full-size iPad. Some or all might also find their way into the cheaper iPad Mini, but given how the iPad Mini accounts for more than half of all iPad sales at a lower profit per unit than the full-sized model, I won’t be surprised if we see the iPad Mini treated like the iPhone 5c and be computationally inferior, at least in cheaper models.
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We’ll probably see the fifth-generation full-size iPad have the sharper lines of the iPad Mini (which I prefer), and Apple will likely add the gold color option introduced in the iPhone 5s. The iPad Mini may get the Retina display of its full-size sibling, for a modest improvement in screen clarity. I hope we don’t see the iPad Mini take on the M&M colors of the iPhone 5c, but that could be the case. We may also see new Apple iPad covers, perhaps with built-in keyboard, à la Microsoft’s Type Cover for its Surface Pro.
We’ll certainly see new iPod models, as well as a deeper look at the new Mac Pro and its radical new design — and, for the third time, the forthcoming OS X Mavericks, a good but not earth-shattering upgrade for Mac users. I really hope we get the significant updates promised earlier this year to the iWork suite for both iOS and OS X — Apple needs to make Pages and Numbers much better than they now are to truly compete with Microsoft Office. Plus, I hope we’ll get a better understanding of iBeacons, Apple’s intriguing indoor location interaction technology.
Read more: The new iPads: Want thrills? Look elsewhere