Today, Apple officially retired the 3-year-old iPad 2 and replaced it with last year’s iPad 4, or possibly a slightly tweaked (cost reduced) version of it. Apple also introduced an 8 GB iPhone 5c in multiple markets although the iPhone 4S is still in the United States product lineup. My iPad 2 has been a close companion for three years. I purchased it shortly after Apple introduced it in March 2011. I’m grateful that it’s capable of running iOS 7.1 and SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI runs great. But I am starting to notice some of my favorite apps like Evernote are running slow. I’m guessing that app vendors are spending less time tweaking performance on older tablets when the newer models have much faster processors- this year’s iPad Air runs up to 7x faster than an iPad 2.
What does Apple’s latest product shuffle mean?
First, the legacy 30-pin connector has been phased out of the product line-up. I expect Apple to introduce the 8 GB iPhone 5c in the US once the iPhone 4s supply chain has been fully depleted.
Second, I’ll predict that the next iPad Air, expected around September 2014, will only be a modest bump in speed and capability to the current model. So instead of two very similar models being sold side-by-side when this year’s model is depreciated, Apple has instead reintroduced a clearly lower-performing less-desirable model (although clearly superior to the iPad 2 it replaces) at the bottom of the line-up.
Third, the original iPad Mini and its non-Retina display remains on sale. I hope that is an indicator that I’ll be able to upgrade my iPad 2 to iOS 8 later this year, as it shares the same processor and screen resolution.
I’m really looking forward to this year’s revised iPad lineup (see related article, Why I won’t buy this year’s iPad). But for now, my iPad 2 is within arm’s reach.