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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending March 6

The iPad 5 date data debate rages; rhetorical flourish turns rumor into fact

By , Network World
March 06, 2013 10:22 AM ET

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Imagine. Leaving the iOSphere to fill in all those blanks on its own.

The IBT post also decreed that there were five specs and feature that Apple "should include" in the Next iPad mini 2 to "ensure its success in the tech market." As a public service, since Apple may not be reading IBT, the Rollup reposts those Top Five Things:

  • better screen display (that 2048 x 1536 pixel thing)
  • an improvement over that "lame A5 processor, which needed an upgrade"
  • more RAM because "other 7-inch tablets already feature 1GB of RAM"
  • more internal storage "that can be [the] main selling point" for iPad mini 2
  • cheaper price because right now "iPad Mini bears a hefty price tag. This discourage some consumers in buying the tablet"

The fetishization of hardware specs is a hallmark of iOSphere rumoring, used for a variety of axe-grindings, such as Apple is losing its gift for innovation, losing its competitive edge, being outclassed, and so on. IBT's specs also oversimplify if not overlook entirely the tradeoffs that have to be made in improving an existing product.

Apple kept the weight and thickness of iPad mini down, partly because it didn't use a power-hungry Retina Display for the smaller tablet, a move that required the company to increase the thickness and weight of both the 3rd and 4th generation full-sized iPads. For iPad mini 2, Apple may be able to make a range of display improvements without actually increasing the pixel resolution.

The same is true with the processor. The iPad mini does not in fact use the "lame A5 processor" if by that one means the original 45 nanometer SoC. It uses a 32 nanometer version, also used in the iPad 2,4 model and 5th generation iPad touch, with the same 1 GHz clock speed as the full-sized tablet. The overall performance, though not cutting edge, has proven to be serviceable for the user experience, with about 15% to 30% better battery life compared to the 45 nm version depending on the workload.

Apple's custom chip design, and recently introduced custom cores, give the vendor a lot of flexibility in balancing performance, size, and battery life, apart from skipping over one generation of chips to an A7.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.



Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.

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