Why Apple’s A7 Chip Will Really Shine in the iPad Air And The Post-PC Vision Thing
PCMag’s Jamie Lendino says Apple may have introduced its latest mobile processor in the iPhone 5s, but it’s really been about the iPad Air all along. He notes that every processor generation ends up being faster and more energy efficient in some way or another, so it’s rare that a new CPU itself ends up being news outside of hardcore PC enthusiast circles, but the A7 is different. In the iPhone 5s, the A7 is basically overkill; there’s only so much power a device with a 4-inch 1,136-by-640-pixel display needs. On a tablet, however, A7 the chip will come into its own, and there’s also a companion M7 coprocessor that handles sensor input, which frees up the A7 to do other tasks, or just rest and conserve battery life.
So the A7 is a huge bump, Lendino observes, and even though the iPad 4 was already quite capable, the A7 promises more, although with a caveat to content creation and productivity oriented users that because there’s no windowed OS, flipping back and forth between apps can become tiresome. Your editor hopes he’s mistaken, but he says he’s pretty sure Apple won’t ever add windows to iOS, because that’s what Macs are for, and a 9.7-inch display isn’t ideal for viewing many windows at once (viz: early Mac Pluses and SEs from the 1980s with 9-inch monochrome screens).
iPads, Price, Self-Selection, And The Post-PC Vision Thing
Blogger Benedict Evans notes that Apple’s iPad event was pretty unsurprising, although the lack of fingerprint scanning in both the new models was a surprise
Evans is also surprised that the original iPad mini, which remains available, has only been discounted to $300, noting that this compares poorly to Google’s nerw Nexus 7, with comparable resolution to the retina mini, selling for $230. He acknowledges that Apple’s recent sales decline is largely a product cycle issue, but clearly, sales of other tablets are growing fast, despite which Apple is allowing the price window underneath the iPad to become meaningful, and he wonders whay Google’s Nexux tablets aren’t selling especially well.
Meanwhile, he notes that every single data set shows iPad with at least three quarters of tablet use, be it app installs, web use or any other third-party engagement metric you want. So where are all those other, non-Nexus Android tablets, and what’s being done with them?
He concludes that Apple’s $300 Mini really isn’t a competitive problem, because the iPad doesn’t yet face a strong competitive threat (quite unlike the iPhone), and Apple remains dominent in the post-PC vision.
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