The announcement of the upcoming iPad 3 surprised no one; it would have been surprising if Apple hadn’t announced a new iPad, with a higher resolution screen and a more powerful processor. The question for the photo industry is: how will this impact photographers? Or more to the point: why should you get one?
Lets start with the key internal change. Quad-core is clearly the future of mobile devices, and offers the power needed for more powerful graphics and photo application. Its obvious that serious image editing will be the future of tablets, and this device will be the poster child for advanced editing tablets. Photoshop Touch, and NIK Snapseed will scream on a quad-core.
Next is 4G. Yes, for those who use their tablets via cell connections, and can afford the bandwidth this will entail, it will be advantageous, in those locations where higher speed connections exist, but wifi does not.
The other key feature is the “retina display”, if Apple chooses to use that description for a higher resolution iPad screen. There is no question that the current iPad’s screen is soft, especially when used adjacent to an iPhone. And for photography sharp, detailed display of images is king. Anyone who moved from an pre-retina display iPhone to a more recent model is well aware of the difference this entails, and even at the larger scale of an iPad this will be striking.
As a portfolio tool, a high rez iPad will be the most desirable image display choice on the market, and photographers will be one of the main markets for this upgrade. If there are any improvements in external presentation functions, that would add to the desirability of the new device.
Also, as a reader was so kind as to point out in the comments below, the iPad camera is currently the iPod camera, with an image quality far below what the iPhone4, and especially what the iPhone4s can manage. A camera update would be an important consideration for those not too embarrassed to hold up their great big tablet, and shoot a photo with it. Personally, I’ll use my phone whenever possible, and grab the file on the iPad.
So, to wrap up: increased editing performance, increased cell speed, improved editing and portfolio resolution, possible presentation enhancements and other, yet undetermined advances (likely to include a better camera)… plus the general appeal of owning Apple’s latest and greatest. That should be sufficient.