John Gruber at Daring Fireball has an interesting post up about what the rest of this year may hold in terms of new iPad releases and the tablet market in general. The second most interesting thing he has to say is this, about the market for the iPad and other tablet devices:
The growth potential of this market is too big to be estimated. I genuinely believe that these platforms are the future of the entire computing industry. The market for these tablets — and whatever other future form factors arrive running these OSes — will soon, collectively, be bigger than today’s Windows/Mac PC market.
I think that’s absolutely right. I don’t see how it couldn’t be – with the trend toward mobile computing accelerating all the time.
Then there’s the most interesting thing about Gruber’s post – his guess that we may see two big iPad releases this year. Those would be the iPad 2 as expected in April, and then an iPad Pro type device or an iPad HD(with retina display) in September.
Gruber is know to have many good ‘insider’ type sources and has made a number of accurate Apple-related predictions in the past. This time though, on the two iPad releases this year, he makes clear that this is just his own guesswork, not based on any insider information.
The thing is, his guessing makes an awful lot of sense when he explains why he’s thinking this way. Here’s a little bit of that thinking:
How could Apple release a third-generation iPad just six months or so after the second one? Maybe it won’t be an actual next generation model. Maybe it’s more like an iPad 2.5, or iPad 2 Pro — a new higher-end model that sits atop the iPad product family, not a replacement for the iPad 2 models (which, of course, haven’t even been released yet).
Or: an iPad 2 HD. What if that’s the source of the conflicting reports of a retina display next-gen iPad? I am nearly dead certain the iPad 2 is going to have the same display resolution and size as the current iPad. I am not so sure at all, though, that there won’t be a double-resolution 2048 × 1536 iPad in 2011. Is that a technically aggressive release schedule? Absolutely. But Apple has invested $4 billion on some sort of unspecified components for future products.
Gruber’s full post is a great read, and I’d bet he turns out to be right. If so, the iPad’s competition is going to have just as bad a time this year as they did last year. Check out the Daring Fireball piece here and let us know what you think of the theory, and which iPad/s you’ll be aiming to get in 2011: