How can Apple make the iPad 4 even better?

Posted on March 21, 2012

The new iPad (3) has been on people’s desks for less than a week, and we’re already wondering what Apple can do for an encore. I mean, how can you make the market leading tablet even better and even more market leading?

Let’s look at what makes the iPad 3:

Industry leading retina display. No other manufacturer has such good technology, not even on phones despite Apple introducing it over 18 months ago with the iPhone 4.

LTE – there is no better wireless technology on the immediate horizon. Users are reporting astounding speeds with both AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks, so apart from slightly more performant, more efficient chips, there’s not really anywhere to go.

Construction – iPad 3 has the same form factor as the iPad 2 which has been very successful. True, it’s a bit thicker in this latest revolution, but that doesn’t seem to be causing anyone any issues.

So given those major points, there doesn’t seem to be anything revolutionary that Apple can add to its next generation iPad. I’m sure that they will continue to improve is slowly but surely, tweaking the screen, reducing weight, extending battery life, better wireless performance etc, but there will be no big changes next year.

One issue with the current iPad that has not been widely reported is that LTE systems used in North America will be incompatible with those used in Europe due to differing frequencies. The only country to have launched their commercial network in Europe so far is Sweden, so this won’t be an issue in 2012. Hence I might guess that iPad 4 will have better international network coverage.

The bottom line is, if you want to buy a tablet that you expect to remain up to date for a few years, the new iPad (3) looks like a great bet.

Thanks to @Pakoken and @fbrunel for their twitter-based initiation of the ideas in this post!