As the arrival of iPad 2 nears and the hype levels continue to rise, original iPad owners find themselves facing the ultimate question: to upgrade, or not to upgrade? Additionally, people who never jumped on the iPad bandwagon are quickly falling into one of two camps: those who are glad they waited and will be first in line for the iPad revision, and those who are glad they waited and have absolutely no plans of buying one now that the Motorola Xoom and other Android tablets are finally making a landing. No matter which camp you’re in, here are three things you’ll want to consider before you line up outside the neighborhood Apple Retail Store in March.
Your Phone Has a Perfectly Good Camera
If you already own an original iPad, you’ll find little in the revision to make it worth your while to upgrade. Rumor has it that an underpowered 1 megapixel front facing camera may be added to the iPad 2. You have to ask why. Let’s think this over very carefully: a device the size and shape of the iPad does not exactly make for a practical camera. Who is going to hold one of these up in the air and seriously take photographs with it? The iPad’s form factor also doesn’t readily lend itself to being used for Facetime chat or video conferencing. If the rumors hold true and a camera actually shows up as one of the new features, it will likely go down in history as one of the most pointless additions to a tech gadget, ever. If you already own an iPhone or an Android phone with a decent camera, you simply don’t need this on your iPad. Why pay again for a feature you already have?
Attack of the Androids
The Android tablets powered by Honeycomb are beginning to make an appearance. With the upcoming release of the Motorola Xoom on the near horizon, fans of Android who, appropriately, are not fans of iOS, have eagerly awaited the arrival of Their Tablet. The Motorola Xoom is now here, Verizon ready, and poised to give Apple a run for its money in Q2 of 2011. Even some die hard iPad fans are curious, and a small percentage is likely to purchase the Xoom or another Android tablet within the next year. Features that make Android tablets attractive include better app management and multitasking control, notifications that don’t require an interruption of what the user is currently working on, and wireless app syncing – something that Apple is rumored to be working on, but has yet to release.
Price and Trade-In Value
The iPad entered the market at a highly appealing price point. iOS devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch historically hold much of their value, even after the next revision emerges – but for an advanced device such as iPad, it would be remarkable for someone to pay a negligible amount less for someone else’s used first generation iPad when for only a few dollars more he could purchase the latest and greatest (even if he never gets much use from the camera.) If you already have an iPad, getting enough value from it to make the upgrade worth your while may not be as easy as you think.
While the iPad 2 is expected to be a smash hit, like everything else Made In Cupertino in the last 15 years, it may just be the least necessary product revision we’ve ever seen from Apple. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Melonie enjoys writing about technology, social media, and DirectSatTv.