Hardware innovation’s glass ceiling



From The Irish Times, March 19th, 2012

When apple chief executive Tim Cook launched the new iPad in early March, it was the most eagerly anticipated hardware announcement in months, inspiring huge amounts of speculation ahead of its unveiling – the infamous Apple rumour mill was in overdrive.

But even before it was revealed, the reaction from large parts of the technoblogosphere was a resounding “meh”. Whatever the expectations were, and most of the rumour-mongers were proven largely correct, the new iPad still managed to leave many tech pundits underwhelmed.

The Associated Press ran a story before it launched suggesting the new device was only a modest improvement over the iPad 2. “The upgrade from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 will be less significant than the upgrade from the original iPad to the iPad 2,” wrote Peter Svensson.

Matt Hartley, a journalist with Canada’s Financial Post, opined that “it now appears that Apple’s move from second to third generation iPad is even less of a bold leap forward and more of a tepid shuffle from an underwhelming top dog”.

At this point it is worth noting that the new iPad features some substantial improvements over its predecessor. As Apple blogger John Gruber put it: “If a faster processor, more RAM, a double-the-resolution retina display, a better camera, and maybe even LTE networking make for a ‘modest’ update, then what would it take for the iPad 3 to be deemed an immodest update? A fusion energy source? Teleportation? A camera that sees into the future?”

Read the rest of my Innovation Talks column here.

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