When the first generation Apple iPad was initially announced and released to the public, the device was above-par with the specifications of the Apple iPhone 3GS, which at the time was the latest member of the iPhone product line. The A4 processor was significantly more powerful than that of the 3GS, and the display was the same standard-definition touch-screen that the 3GS sported. However, when the iPhone 4 was announced and released shortly after the iPad, the A4 processor quickly caught-up to the iPad’s processing capabilities and the retina display simply put the iPad’s display to shame.
With tablets and other forms of mobile computing becoming more popular, it makes a lot of sense for people to be more heavily reliant on their mobile devices to perform faster and offer many of the amenities that their traditional workstations would. Naturally, tablet devices such as the iPad have already revolutionized the mobile industry in terms of communications and web browsing, but the iPad still has a great deal of uncharted ground to cover; specifically in terms of processing and graphics power.
Shortly after the unveiling of the iPhone 4, Adam wrote an article outlining his predictions for what we would see in future generations of the Apple iPad. Among the things he predicted was a display to rival that of the iPhone 4. With more and more manufacturers getting into the rapidly growing mobile industry – particularly Acer, Nvidia, and Vizio, all of which are known for their superb graphics and display capabilities – it would only make sense for Apple to step up their game with the iPad and become competitive in the graphics aspect once again.
Apple Insider has recently used some of their previous reports and coverage to predict that the next release of the Apple iPad will include a SGX543 graphics chipset which is said to offer about twice the processing power of the current SGX535. This is vastly important because it means that the device will be capable of running more video intensive tasks – including supporting higher resolution video, possibly even to the level of true 1080p high-definition video.
This is important because more crisp, clear, and vivid video would ultimately help to make the iPad a more media-focused device, and allow users to experience high-quality videos, movies, and television shows. With this kind of capabilities, mobile users would be able to enjoy their favorite content in all of its glory without having to be tied down to their television or computer.
In terms of processing power, CNET is also quick to note that in order to compete with upcoming devices such as the dual-core BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple would need to implement dual-core technology into their tablet devices. CNET goes on to cite researcher Ashok Kumar in saying that the refreshed iPad will possibly sport a “dual-core processor featuring a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores.” Compared to the single-core A4 processor that the iPad currently ships with, this upgrade would be substantial in allowing users to use their tablets in a more computer-like fashion, allowing for more advanced and resource intensive applications. More importantly, the improvements under the hood could help to better the iPad’s multitasking capabilities that were brought on (for the iPad) in version 4.2 of the iOS mobile operating system.
While we can pretty much guarantee that the upcoming “iPad 2” will be a powerhouse, I feel that it is also safe to assume that the upcoming iPhone refreshment (referred to as the “iPhone 5“) will also have some of the same upgrades. You see, the release of the iPhone 4 set the bar higher in terms of what we are now expecting for the iPad 2. The iPad 2, in my mind, will likely do the same thing prior to the announcement and release of the next generation iPhone. Simply put, consumers will not accept anything less than comparable specifications in the iPhone 5 after seeing the processing and video capabilities of what will then be the latest iPad.
At the end of the day, it will be interesting to see what comes of the iPad 2 and if Apple will succeed in meeting the rather high expectations that have been set by technology enthusiasts and consumers as a whole.
What do you think? What are you expecting in future generations of the iPad or iPhone? Let us know in the comments!