As Apple’s iPad launch event nears, speculation on what features it will have continues to thrive. Despite the vast variety of rumours, 4G connectivity and a higher resolution screen are amongst the most consistent. But what if you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on an internet subscription, but still want blistering 4G speeds?
Currently customers looking for an iPad 2 can pick one up in a variety of configurations as they have their choice of internal memory and internet connectivity. Not surprisingly, Reuters claim the most popular iPad is the cheaper WiFi only model.
It’s easy to fathom why it would be the highest selling, costing less than the alternative which is burdened by an often inconsistent 3G internet connection. Instead, they jump onto a fixed WiFi connection characterised by quick and consistent speeds.
A new iPad featuring 4G LTE technology could turn the tide, encouraging people to adopt the technology because is ten times quicker than 3G. The only deterrent would be the ongoing financial burden of paying for a monthly data subscription, whether it is a 60 day prepaid or a 24 month contract.
However, there is a viable way of having your cake and eating it too.
Most current smartphones can generate a wireless hot spot which can be accessed by WiFi compatible devices. A 4G smartphone, such as the HTC Velocity, could generate a wireless hotspot your iPad could use. This circumvents the need to pay for two data allowances: one for your smartphone and another for your tablet.
As time goes on, more 4G phones (the next iPhone is expected to have 4G LTE technology) will be released and be supported by more carriers. Telstra’s 4G network is already live in major cities, while Optus and Vodafone’s are currently underway.
With a 4G modem built into it, the iPad could boost tablet sales in the telecoms market. Currently 67 million people worldwide own a tablet, according to research accrued in 2011 by Strategy Analytics.
“It’s going to dramatically improve video consumption,” said UBS analyst John Hodulik. “This is the device people want. They want the fastest speed. They want high resolution.”
The iPad 2 was a modest improvement over the original iPad, leaving consumers yearning for a bigger revamp this time around. They’re expecting a quad-core processor and a higher resolution screen in addition to the 4G modem.
“A lot will depend how receptive the market is to the new features offered by iPad 3,” said Frost & Sullivan’s analyst Phil Harpur.
“Two of which are believed to be quad-core processing and 4G-LTE capabilities. While iPad 2 offered only minor incremental upgrades, this time the market will be expecting a lot more.”
|4G Ready: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 is currently available from Telstra|
In the States, 10 per cent more Android tablets were sold in Q4 of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, jumping from 29 to 39 per cent. Comparatively, Apple’s share dropped from 68 to 58 per cent during the same period, according to research from Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston.
The take up of 4G devices is expected to boom if the technology is incorporated into Apple’s new products as the device appeals to the wide majority. Apple has adept at making sophisticated technology easy-to-understand and subsequently accessible to the masses.
Keep an eye on this space for Apple’s unveiled product later tonight.