Skip to comments.Did Apple Just Bamboozle 3M iPad Buyers?
Posted on 03/21/2012 2:39:20 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
Apple just reported that it sold three million 'New iPads' between Friday, March 16 and Monday, March 19. Is there any wonder? The pre-launch publicity and media attention for the new tablet was unprecedented. And so were the glowing comments from normally sedate tech analysts who called the new tablet "dazzling" and "revolutionary."
The official launch day itself looked like a scene from 1964 circa Beatlemania as thousands of Apple-ites lined up overnight across the nation so they could be the first to own the new device.
"For the people who stayed out here overnight, the real devotees, they say it's enough of a revolution for them to brave the cold weather to be among tthe first in the world to get the new iPad," a CNN reporter gushed on the air Friday.
But hold on, everyone. There's growing evidence that Apple may have bamboozled us all, or at least the three million plus people who have bought the new iPad.
By most objective standards, the new iPad is supposed to include three major improvements on the old iPad 2. Apple itself promoted these three features most heavily in its ballyhooed press event on March 7 announcing the new tablet.
Why are these people in line?
But several reports done by respected tech web sites in the last few days suggests that the three improvements are slight and/or highly exaggerated by Apple. In addition, one of the "improvements" comes with so much baggage that many new iPad owners may never even use it.
Let's start with "improvement" #1: The new iPad's Retina, high-resolution display.
No one is disputing that the display itself isn't an improvement over the iPad 2. At 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, the screen exhibits sharper text and more vivid still images. However, the problem apparently comes when you examine one of Apple's most touted reasons for having that high-resolution display: watching movies.
"The gotta-see-it-to-believe-it clarity of the Retina display on the new iPad lets you watch 1080p videos at their full HD resolution. So get ready for more gripping entertainment than you ever thought possible," Apple's web site states.
However, CNET.com yesterday published an article saying that videos from Netflix, YouTube and iTunes don't look much different on the new iPad than they do on the iPad 2.
CNET's David Katzmaier describes how he downloaded a high-def version of Hugo to both the iPad 2 and the new iPad, which purports to offer double the resolution of the older model. The new iPad automatically downloaded a 1080p version of the Martin Scorsese film while the iPad 2 got the lesser 720p edition.
However, Katzmaier says differences in the two "were extremely subtle...Colors looked quite similar on the two."
Then the CNET writer watched Lost via Netflix on both the iPad 2 and new iPad.
"One of the best high-quality shows on Netflix is Lost but as I expected, I couldn't see any differences in detail between the two iPads when I watched the 'Some Like it Hoth' episode," the reviewer states.
CNET apparently doesn't believe that the Retina display delivers "gotta-see-it-to-believe-it clarity" when watching movies, which is again one of the big reasons why Apple says you would want to upgrade to the new iPad.
So while you will experience some benefits for paying more for a high-resolution screen -- text, still images, for example -- CNET says don't expect your movies to look any better.
"Improvement" #2 The new iPad's A5X Processor Techland.com, the tech page for Time Magazine, notes that Apple claimed at its launch event that the new A5X processor would deliver four times the graphics performance of the quad-core chip used in Android tablets.
"Others are using chips like this Nvidia Tegra 3," Apple marketing guru Phil Schiller said at the event in San Francisco. "The Apple A5 was already twice as fast. And the new A5X brings four times the performance. It is a graphics powerhouse."
Did Apple trick us all?
But Techland writes that Apple's claim is "misleading." The site notes that the web sites Gizmodo and Laptop tested the speed on the new iPad and a Tegra 3-powered Asus Transformer Prime and found they are similar.
"Sorry to disappoint you, but there was no clear winner here," Gizmodo wrote. "Results seem to indicate that for blasting through graphics, the GPU (graphics processing unit) in the iPad's A5X is faster. But for your average day-to-day usage, the CPU on Transformer Prime takes it. I'd love to see a good, cross-platform CPU test emerge, but until then, we'll just have to listen to nerds screaming at each other."
While I haven't come across a test yet for how the new iPad's graphics speed fares against the iPad 2, it seems that the tech web sites believe that Apple stretched the truth when it promoted the new processor.
"It's also a reminder not to take product marketing at face value," Techland writes.
"Improvement" #3 The 4G LTE Network The new Apple iPad permits you to use a 4G LTE network from AT&T or Verizon. The plans start at $14.99 a month for AT&T (for 250MB data) and $30 a month for Verizon (2GB).
There's no doubting that 4G is faster than the 3G available in the iPad 2, but at what cost? Several publications have noted that streaming video, music and online games will gobble up your data plan like a Pacman, causing you to upgrade to a more expensive plan or pay heavy overages. The danger here is so great that CNET recommends that you should "think of (4G) LTE as your lifeline when you're out and about, so use it sparingly."
The site adds: "If you expect to stream movies, music, and video 24-7 over 4G, then save yourself the $130 extra for the device (the 4G version costs $130 more than the Wi-Fi version), the monthly data charge, and the potential overage fees and stick to Wi-Fi- -- or drastically adjust your expectations. Even with Verizon's 10GB plan for $80, wanton data use will have you busting through your limit in just a couple of days."
So, to sum up: The Retina, high-resolution display is nice for text and still images, but won't make your movies look much better. The new processor might be faster, but not faster than what you'll find in similar products. And you might lose your shirt if you use 4G.
What's going on here? What is Apple selling us? And why are so many of us running to the store to buy it?
Is this the high-tech, commercial equivalent of a Jonestown?
Probably because everyone who actually uses their brain when shopping for portable electronic devices can see that Apple products suck for most people, cost them more money and does less.
Apple is good for one kind of person: the one who doesn’t want options because being told what to do and how to do it is easy.
I’ve had an Asus t91mt for quite a while. I laugh my butt off every time I’m on the bus and I flip my screen around to use the keyboard and the iPad user next to me says, “Whoa, where did you get that?” I have *never* had an iPad user *ever* not ask the question.
I tell him/her that it was on the market a year before iPad, runs a real OS (I have Windsows 7 with MS Office on it, as well as Ubuntu), I use Rhapsody, MOG and rip my CDs to flac lossless and can buy software and music from anywhere I please. When I ask, “Why did you go with the iPad?” I always get the same response. “It’s what everybody has.”
With the new Asus Transformer Prime with the built in phone . . . Oh well. Nobody will buy it. Apple will “invent” the idea a year later and sell its slower version to millions for twice the price. The Sheeple will flock.
I have an iPad 1 and have never felt the urge to “upgrade”.
Not to worry.
That’s just Apple colluding with the administration to provide free birth control...
I have the iPad 1 and don’t have the urge to use it.
Without a case, it is too slippery to prop up, with the case, it is just as bulky as my Transformer and doesn’t have a keyboard.
Luckily, it was free. I had a ipad 2 given to me this year but was able to get a store card instead and bought my wife a nice camera with the money.
I find it OK for net surfing; but I hate typing on it. It is a bitch to correct spelling errors (the built-in spell-check is way too aggressive, so I turned it off). I find I do not sometimes reply to emails or message boards because the typing is too laborious. It's nice to be able to sit outside on the deck with a cigar and catch up on news or play a game. And I can sit in the den with my wife and surf while keeping her company. I also have a few Kindle books on it.
It will be good to take on trips to keep up with news and email; but it will never be more than a convenience item. Mine was free, too, BTW. I doubt I would have bought it otherwise.
No need for that. If we are having a civil discussion, why do you feel the need to insult a large group of people?
1080p is 1080p no matter what the device capability is. The media has to be made better than 1080p for it to look better. ATM there really isn’t any media out there.
An iPad or iPhone is a handy platform for when you need some bit of information on the go, but if you are exceeding a data plan on an iPhone, that is problematic to me.
I don’t know, maybe it is me, but what is the point of watching 1080P on a screen that small?
I’m waiting for the iPhone 6 and the ipad5.
For my Filipino friends the inako (Ay Naku!).
I’ll watch tv on my iPhone via my SlingBox if I’m waiting in line somewhere or want to watch a game where a tv is inaccessible. Other than that I wouldn’t watch a movie on screens that small. Maybe on a plane.
“Is this the high-tech, commercial equivalent of a Jonestown?”
Somebody’s waking up. Siri is literally fraudulent in the iPhone 4S. It is the clearest cut case of false advertising since the turn of the century.
I recently did quite a bit of research in pursuit of replacing my phone. We are more backward a nation than we think we are in many respects.
2. I fully intended to jettison my Blackberry, thinking they’ve been lapped by all the other phonemakers and OS providers. They are the only one offering seamless synch via USB. Email is still secure, and rock solid. The Torch has enough apps and then some to make me happy, and it is both fast and 3G (not 4G, which is exorbitantly expensive).
I was absolutely gobsmacked. I was ready to buy a Windows Mobile device, because synching with desktop apps was a big need of mine (privacy again). I found out that Android apps and phones tended to be buggy and required phone reboots on a frequent basis, while Apple Apps were well tested, expensive, and required you stay completely in the Apple bubble.
I bought the Blackberry. I had already had the funeral for my 8300, and was looking forward to a bright new Android world.
Bottom line: Blackberry was the only phone I didn’t have to sell my soul for (privacy). The rest REQUIRED a religious conversion, of sorts.
Now, I have to say, Blackberry needs to fire their entire marketing department and start over again, immediately. They have a superior product, overall.
Right, I would too. But that is rare, and I don’t think watching an occasional Netflix movie and and there would wipe out your data plan. Or would it?
I went a bit far, but I understand why the author has an ax to grind, and the ax to grind is with Apple’s marketing and people’s willingness to believe the ridiculous. I am nonplussed as to why so many consumers would voluntarily enslave themselves to Apple and the iStore.
For instance, I can buy an 8GB iPod nano for $100. I rip all my CDs to FLAC lossless using EAC. Now I have to download software to translate the files into a file the nano can read. I can’t use Rhapsody To Go service. WMA? Sorry, mate, you’ll have to get *another* piece of software to convert the files. Ogg-vorbis? Nope. So what does this media player actually play? Well, MP3, AIFF, WAV (uncompressed), AAC, and Audible files. Sure, I could use Apple’s format lossless, but then I have to convert it for every other player I have . . . unless I *only* buy Apple products.
I *could* buy a Sansa Clip+ 8GB for $60. Spend the saved cash on a 32GB micro SD, which gives me 40GB to the Apple 8GB and I can play . . . dang near any file. Ogg-vorbis, FLAC, WAV compressed, WMA, WMA (secure), etc. Drop Rockbox on top and the audio is even better. No, it doesn’t have a touchscreen and you can’t shuffle the music by shaking the thing (whaaa???), but the music doesn’t sound like crap.
My wife is a personal trainer and teaches group exercise classes. I love watching the snotty instructors show off their new iPods and, even though the system has a special interface just for iPods, struggle to get them to play. When they do, the iPods sound like something out of a tin can. They go on and on about transferring their music from one account to another in iTunes. Good grief. My wife has sold more Sansa Clip+ players because people in the class come up and ask why her music doesn’t sound like crap, like everybody else’s.
I have yet to find an Apple product that didn’t trade freedom for perceived “ease of use.” Sure, slavery is easier when it comes to making decisions, but these aren’t really tough, life changing decisions. Oh well, it’s a free(ish) market and there are just enough of us out there who buy enough “not Apple” to keep the prices nice and low.
Don’t delude yourself into thinking you are getting bleeding or even cutting edge. You are paying a premium for demand for the sake of demand . . . and getting a decent tablet computer with a great screen. It’s almost equivalent to a good netbook without a keyboard. Eh.
“Now, I have to say, Blackberry needs to fire their entire marketing department and start over again, immediately. They have a superior product, overall.”
Actually, the new iPad does handle colors differently. The colors on the new iPad are supposedly more vivid. I forget which source I was reviewing the other day, but a comparison was made and it was impressive.
As for the new screen, how could Apple make the claim you could see movies with more clarity? If they’re presented in 1080 by Netflix, that’s all the resolution you’re going to get.
As for other sources, at least you’ll see them in the 1920x1080 format, instead of the 1060 x 800 (or approximately that on the previous iPads.
As for viewing photos, it’s the most lifelike resolution I’ve ever seen. I went in to an Apple store and put my hands on one. You could see every detail of a girl’s face in one. It was almost as if you were looking through a window at the girl.
These attacks on Apple sound amazingly close to those against ‘Reardon Steel’ in ‘Atlas Shrugged’.
Honestly. Freedom and Slavery?
I know these types of conversations on FR about Apple products ttend to go a little far into hyperbole, but do you really think people who might not know or care about WMA files are losing their freedom? Or that they think they are slaves because they can't use Rhapsody?
As a conservative, I expect you would agree that people should have the freedom to buy the products they wish using money they earned themselves?
You are also free to feel disdain for them, but why waste your time and energy?
First, there is PLENTY of available bandwidth. That is NOT the problem; not even close.
Second, of course these devices represent increasing demand. The cell carriers are having a field day with the influx of new devices hitting their networks (look at your cell bill lately? have a tablet and a smartphone?)
Third, yes.....they're raping the public and they full well know it. They can only keep the shearing of the sheep up for so long, so they're taking max advantage while they can.
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