And not one of 'em is a fancy dual-core processor.
We've got a new iPad 2 rumor here. This one comes courtesy of a weird Japanese blog. They claim an "unnamed Chinese source" leaked them some features for the new iPad. As reported earlier, the changes are mostly minor. A speaker behind the camera, a smaller bezel and a flat backplate.
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Odds are, the iPad 2 will be an iterative improvement only. We'll see a few new features, a lot of refinement and not much else. Which begs the question: what does the iPad 2 really need in order to be competitive with 2011s dual-core monster-slates?
Better Streaming Video. We're all geeks here. We care about whether or not our slate has a dual core or a single core processor. The average customer only cares which works fastest. That has as much to do with software as anything, and Apple is very good at providing a smooth, zippy user experience.
A recent survey showed streaming video as one of the main sources of frustration for iPad owners. But let's be honest- Flash for Android doesn't work well at all. Apple only needs to get a little better if they want to stay ahead of their #1 competitor.
Speed. Specifically speed while browsing the web. Things can get a bit pokey on a current-gen iPad, especially using the 3G. We've heard rumors of an LTE iPad and such a thing seems extremely likely. If Verizon has an iPhone coming soon, an iPad won't be far behind.
The iPad 2 will have Cameras, one front-facing and one rear-facing. Pretty much everyone agrees here. Unless Apple screws the transition from iPhone camera to iPad camera, they're likely to have an edge on every other tablet in this regard. Apple does cameras well, and Android...is only just now getting better.
These three things are all crucial for the iPad 2, but the most important factor in its success or failure will hinge on it Staying a Damn iPad.
The iPad isn't a mighty beast of a tablet. It isn't packed to the gills with features and it doesn't allow you to do a lot of things you might like to do. But it gets the job done, it doesn't weigh much and it lasts ten freaking hours on a charge. Since it's an Apple product, things run smoothly more often than not.
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2011 will play host to a veritable WAVE of dual-core tablets. They'll be laden down with cameras and sensors and gew-gaws and gibberidoos. And the iPad 2 will outsell them all, if Apple remembers to focus on the user experience and ignore everything the people who love technology say.