The past week saw quite a few developments in the mobile sector. Foremost among them was the official launch of ” the new iPad” at an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) media event Wednesday. Among other important announcements, the new third-generation iPad will sport a stunning retina display and be available in two variants, one of which has 4G LTE capabilities. Earlier in the week, Apple announced that its App store had crossed the 25 billion mark. Meanwhile, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced that the PureView technology that it demoed at the MWC last week will make its way to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone based Lumia line of smartphones very soon.
The third-generation iPad that Apple launched Wednesday will surprisingly not be called the iPad 3 but the new iPad. The new upgrade to the iPad comes with several improvements to the tablet, a few on the outside but mostly on the inside. The new iPad comes with a dual-core ARM-based A5X chip and a quad-core GPU, that Apple claims will give four times the graphical performance of Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor. It also has an LTE baseband chip that makes high 4G data speeds possible, should one subscribe to Verizon or AT&T’s LTE plans in the U.S. and Rogers or Telus in Canada. Outside of North America, it will be tough to get such speeds though because the iPad purportedly doesn’t support the LTE frequencies in use elsewhere. The good news here is that in spite of an LTE antennae on board, Apple claims that the iPad still packs 10 hours worth of battery juice inside it.
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On the outside, there are not many design changes that differentiate it from the iPad 2 but the high-resolution retina display technology is the new iPad’s most visually striking point. The 9.7-inch screen plays host to 3.1 million pixels in a 2048 x 1536 arrangement — that’s 264ppi. To put this in perspective, laptops and desktops currently pack a ppi of about 150, at the most. The iPad surpasses even the best HDTV around in terms of resolution, packing over a million more pixels on its 9.7 inch screen.
As we have seen with the iPhone 4S, Apple doesn’t have to come up with a revolutionary design change with every version of its iProduct for customers to lap it up. If the Apple manages to set new records with the iPad 3 as it has with the iPhone 4S, it will set it up for a $700 stock value. For the complete analysis, read iPad 3 Success Could Spark Apple Run to $700.
The new iPad wasn’t Apple’s only major announcement this week. Earlier in the week, Apple’s app store had reached a new milestone of 25 billion cumulative downloads so far. In comparison, Google’s Android market reached 11 billion downloads in January this year. That a Chinese national, Chunli Fu of Qingdao, downloaded the 25 billionth app is symbolic of the rapid strides Apple is making in terms of global reach. Apple now has users from over 120 countries across the world downloading from the App Store. However, the app business isn’t a highly profitable business for Apple. The whole purpose of the App store is to create an ecosystem vibrant enough for customers to buy Apple’s iProducts and profitable enough for developers to use the platform for their apps. (see 25 Billion App Downloads… And Counting)
Nokia looks like it is on to something with the PureView technology it demoed at the Mobile World Congress 2012 last week. The company announced recently that the new technology will soon make its way to the Lumia family of smartphones. The Nokia 808 PureView, that was launched at the MWC, uses the Symbian platform since the technology was in the works for a long time, well before the announcement of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership. However, now that the company’s first Windows Phones are off to a solid start, we believe that it is a very good idea to incorporate this feature and differentiate them from the iPhone and the Android phones. (see PureView Will Help Differentiate Lumia from Android and iPhone)
Moreover, Nokia has decided that it will not launch the technology in the U.S. before it is made available on the Windows Phone. With failure not an option in this U.S. re-entry, we believe Nokia has made the right choice since no matter how innovative a concept, without a good OS, it may not find many takers.