What a week. iPad 3 was certainly the big story, with rumors following their usual, crazy, pre-relase pattern. iOS 5.1 is along for the ride. On the hardware side, we heard the traditional 30-pin dock connector may be going micro, and as you may have noticed, we've been making some changes around the site. Here's the deal on release dates, software drops, and assorted mischief...
With the iPad 3 event expected for March 7, that raises the question of when Apple's next tablet will actually ship. A new but interesting source recently told us March 30 was the date with an Apple Retail meeting to take place right before hand, on March 28. That's 23 days between announcement and release. And... that seems like a long time.
Apple announced the first iPad on January 27, 2010, opened pre-orders in the U.S. on March 12, and released the device on Friday, April 30. But that was a brand new product category, and while not as big as the January 9, 2007 to June 29 window of the original iPhone, it gave developers time to get a ton of apps in place before launch. iPad 2 was announced on March 2, 2011, had no pre-orders, and was released on March 11. That's 9 days.
If Apple wants to have pre-orders for the iPad 3, or give developers a head start on getting their apps Retina display ready, would they need more time?
The iPhone 4S had pre-orders. It was announced on October 4, 2011, pre-orders started on October 7, and it was released on October 14. 10 days.
The iPhone 4 made the same jump to Retina the iPad 3 is expected to make. It was announced on June 7, 2010 and was released on June 24. 17 days.
Would Apple really want or need 23 days from iPad 3 announcement to launch? Unless every minute of extra manufacturing time is important to get stock to the level Apple requires -- and given the spec rumors for the device, especially that 2048x1536 pixel display, it might be -- it seems like too long a window.
Both iPad and iPad 2 were released on Fridays, however, so March 30 remains a possibility. Announcement on March 7, perhaps pre-orders on March 9, and release on March 16 would fit last year's schedule. Release on March 23 would split the difference.
Realistically, it's too close to call for me. (Which is why I snuck the March 30 date in here instead of it's own big, noisy post...) Just keep your Fridays open next month.
Apple's not predictable but they do like their patterns. While iOS 5.1 feels like it's been in beta forever (November 28, 2010 forever), it has yet to go GM (Gold Master), which means developers have yet to get their hands on a release candidate for testing. Given past timelines, it's not hard to see Apple announcing the iOS 5.1 GM seed during the March 7 event, and releasing it a couple days before the iPad 3. That could mean March 14, 21, or 28.
Depending on what, if any, surprising new features Apple shows off in iOS 5.1 for the iPad 3 -- maybe Siri, maybe something else? -- developers would likely appreciate as much time as possible to get their apps ready to be in the App Store on day one.
So, better keep your Wednesdays open as well.
Wow but that name caught on fast. In case you missed it, earlier this week we heard Apple was finally getting ready to ditch the traditional dock connector and go with something smaller, to save space in the iPhone 5 for bigger batteries and faster radios.
Many of you told us you'd prefer Apple ditch it completely and go with Palm TouchStone-style inductive charging. Palm still had micro USB, however, for standard charging and while Apple is fearless when it comes to embracing the future, they're also pragmatic about mainstream needs and inductive charging might not be mainstream enough just yet.
A while back I promised everyone that iMore would be steadily rolling out new features to make for a better, more informative, more useful, more enjoyable experience. While the big stuff is still coming, we did update the home page recently to let some the awesome photography the team's been taking really shine. We're talking edge-to-edge, widescreen graphics, and I for one think they look terrific.
We also updated the layout to better differentiate our feature articles. The problem is this -- there's just too much iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad stuff out there. Too much news and too many rumors, and way too many apps and accessories. We want to cut through all that for you and offer only the best of the best of the best of everything. We want to bring you the stories that are most important to you, the rumors that we can best put in context, and we want to plow through the massive amounts of apps and accessories and give you the ones that really stand out, that are absolutely best in class, or are simply too cool to pass up.
This approach is still a work in progress and it'll take some time for us to nail it, but we're working incredibly hard to get it right. If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it. Drop me a line at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter @reneritchie.
Oh, and along these lines -- we have a huge surprise coming in the next few weeks that'll make some of you incredibly happy, so stay tuned!
One of the biggest new additions to iMore, and something I'm especially proud of, are our new expert columns, and our new features. iPhones and iPads have gone from being geeky gadgets to being important parts of our lives and lifestyles. They're with us almost everywhere and they have apps and accessories that can help us with almost everything. That's where the columns and features come in.
Finally, yours truly made a concerted effort to keep up with the industry opinion and analysis this week as well.
I'd go into it more, but frankly if you made it this far down you deserve a break now. If the topics interest you, hit the links and be sure to share your thoughts.
That's it! Now that we've got the first of these weekly reviews out of the way, I'll make a concerted effort to keep future editions shorter and sweeter. We value your time and your attention, and we appreciate your readership.
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