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In the news - the new iPad launched

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Hajar Javaheri Hajar Javaheri | 10:00 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Last week Apple unveiled the new iPad in its first product launch since the death of founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.

The main surprise was that the tablet would just be called the iPad, apparently removing the need for a number or letter after every new improvement.

New features include a sharper display, hi def video recording and a faster processing speed. The device will also be able to connect to faster 4G networks, but these won't be a reality in the UK until at least 2013.

It all sounds pretty cool, but rather than a revolutionary device we should all be rushing to buy this Friday, is it actually just a simple reminder that tweaks and improvements are constantly being made to products?

With a 62% market share, Apple doesn't need to play catch up with other brands by haphazardly throwing big and clever ideas at consumers. Instead it delivers changes people have come to expect. Products should be slicker, easier to use, faster and showcase new technologies rather than make big promises they can't necessarily keep.

Since the launch of the original iPad in 2010, competitor tablets like the Samsung Galaxy, Asus Eee Pad and BlackBerry PlayBook have hit the stores, in a bid to claim a share of the market.

Although we shouldn't be enticed by every new item we see, it's important to keep an eye on what's going on and see what companies are coming out with. This way, when we do need a new device, we can fully consider what's out there rather than just going for the least or most expensive item.

Such developments in screens, product weight and functionality are worth keeping abreast of as they help challenge our ideas of what we need certain items for. Figures indicate that the rise in tablet sales is linked to a decline in netbooks - i.e. small, cheap laptops - which suggests people are really thinking about how and why they use technology, and not just what cynics might imagine, to always have the latest gadget.

Two years ago I was convinced that I needed a netbook simply because I had the notion of a small laptop stuck in my head. I didn't consider just how lightweight a tablet would be, or any of its other uses because I hadn't fully considered how I would use a new device or what other features I could get for my money. In technology, it's tempting to stick to what you know but with everything that's out there it's well worth taking the time to learn about what you don't.

Read how tablets help Tara Palmer-Tomkinson get the most out of the web in her interview with BBC WebWise.

Hajar is a regular contributor to the WebWise blog and has also made award-winning programmes for BBC Radio. In her spare time she loves reading, writing and singing.


  • Comment number 1.

    "Tempting to stick to what you know but... it's well worth taking time to learn about what you don't" is platitudinal (& 2 years too late!) and applies to much else besides technology. In fact, the "main surprise" probaby was the exceptionally sharp new 'retinal' HD screen --- not a lack of a number suffix. For me, the main supprise was the price reduction to £329 of the iPad2 basic. I bought one. Go do the same; and if you're rich, wait for six months and buy the NEXT launch. It's bound to be better.


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