2012
03.07

Multiple rumors were confirmed today, as Apple’s iPad received an upgrade. The new iPad—no iPad 3, just the new iPad—will feature the Retina display, a new camera, and perhaps most importantly, 4G LTE connectivity.

Apple says the new iPad delivers “the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology.” Well, maybe. It would be easy to call the company cocky, except for the fact Apple seems to be correct. According to Forrester Research, Apple has a 73% market share, and no other brand has more than a 6% market share. Forrester also says that when consumers were asked which brand of tablet they were considering buying, 61% said Apple, while 24% named Amazon.

The newest version of the iPad is Apple doing its best to stay one step ahead of competitors, such as Amazon and Samsung, that are nipping at its heels with tablet devices of their own. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long Apple can outrun them and remain in the lead, but the features announced today will go a long way toward that goal.

Apple says 4G LTE will allow the iPad to download video much faster, and this should be a boon for people who use the iPad for entertainment content. However, what’s not known is whether the majority of consumers will be willing to pay for 4G service. The Wi-Fi-only version is still the most popular iPad. The sharper display is also geared toward a better content-consumption experience, both for video and photos, and for reading books.

As far as productivity tools, Apple announced a new feature for voice dictation. This is an intriguing aspect of the device, and it will be interesting to see how accurately it captures spoken language. The iPad has made inroads regarding enterprise adoption, though there are many who still question its abilities as a productivity tool for business. One of the industries seeing significant iPad use is healthcare, where doctors have embraced the device as a convenient tool to carry with them. Apps such as Epocrates bring medical information to doctors’ fingertips, and patient data can be viewed quickly using the mobile device.

Will the newest version of the iPad entice more business users? Perhaps. But there are still many users who desire heftier capabilities for tasks such as spreadsheet and document creation.

But all in all, the new iPad doesn’t disappoint, and personally I’m excited to get a first-hand look.

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