A few days ago I said I thought the iPad Mini was a good call on Apple’s part, and one that would entice a whole new group of people to join the iPad family. When I wrote that I had neglected to mention– partially because it wasn’t too important, partially because my knowledge of it was foggy– that Apple also announced a brand new regular iPad that might actually be Apple’s biggest “give us your money for no reason” product ever. Which I guess explains why not very many people are talking about it.
Back when the iPhone 5 had just been announced, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel did a bit where he sent someone out onto Hollywood Boulevard with an iPhone 4S, told people it was an iPhone 5, and asked what they thought about it. Most people believed that it was the iPhone 5, and went on to talk about how much better it was than the 4S… even though it was a 4S. The new iPad is sort of like that, only if you actually brought the 4th generation iPad out and asked people about it, they’d probably tell you that you’re trying to trick them and it’s actually just a 3rd generation iPad.
That’s not some hyperbolic blog-o-sphere chit chat, either. Let me tell you everything about them that is exactly the same:
They are exactly the same size. They have exactly the same screen resolution. They have the exact same battery. Their outward-facing cameras are exactly the same. They run on the same operation system. They have the same wireless capabilities. They both have the same Bluetooth options. They come in the same colors.
So… what exactly is different?
The inward-facing camera is better (a lot better, actually!), and the processor is faster. And it looks like they might have taken a nail-file to the corners. That’s it. TWO things (three if you’re being excruciatingly generous) and they think it should be the “next generation iPad”, which is either going to work out as the greatest money-maker for Apple in history or backfire when people realize they’re probably just sitting behind their desks going “You know… I wonder if we could just use all of these old parts, swap one or two out, and then resell it.” Which sounds an awful lot like what they did.
I still really like the iPad Mini. I think it’s a pretty neat alternative to the current iPad. But this “4th generation” junk isn’t anything more than… I don’t know what it is actually, aside from something that is going to make Apple a lot of money. And I guess so goes the saying: If people will buy it, someone will make it.
I made that quote up. But it sounds like it would be a real quote.