Mobile Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.04.26 PM

Published on October 24th, 2013 | by Jean-Baptiste

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Apple Lost Innovation Spirit With New iPads

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Just in time for the holidays, Apple unveiled this week two new tablets, the 9.7″ iPad Air and the smaller 7.9″ iPad mini, starting at $499 and $399, respectively.

Besides being thinner, lighter and a tad faster than the prior 4th generation, the iPad Air has nothing really new to offer. Despite an entire year of development, the latest full-size iPad still has the same front or rear cameras, same Retina display, same autonomy, and still no removable battery, NFC or a Flash-memory expansion slot. Clearly not enough to compete with the fast-paced Android device makers like Google, Samsung or ASUS.

Apple’s tablet market share slid to 32% in the second quarter of this year, compared to 60% a year earlier, according to IDC. Mostly loosing it to the Android tablets as Windows tablets are still missing in action.

New iPad shows Apple lack of innovation

Worst, compared to the iPhone 5S, the iPad Air is a giant step backwards, as Apple failed to integrate some of its most advanced technologies like the fingerprint identity sensor (TouchID) or the 8 megapixels iSight camera.

And it gets even more flagrant with the latest iPad mini that is now $70 more expensive, 7% heavier and a bit thicker than the prior one, with the only noticeable improvement of having a high-definition Retina display – finally removing its most glaring shortcoming vis-a-vis the Google Nexus 7, its main competitor but at almost half the price, at just $229. Other than that, the iPad mini Retina Display has the same rear and front cameras and the same Wi-Fi connectivity than last year’s model.

Little incentive to upgrade

It’s hard to feel impress by the latest iPad tablets. If you already have the thin iPad 2 or an iPad mini, there’s very little incentive to upgrade. Which is perhaps why Apple is keeping them on its catalog. But if you own an old iPad with Retina display, there’s a much stronger case to get the iPad Air, as they were a lot heavier and thicker than the iPad 2.

But, get over it. This is no longer the Apple of Steve Jobs, when it could release epoch-shifting products every two years or so. Let’s just hope that Apple’s loss of product momentum and market share will not eventually be fatal.

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About the Author

Jean-Baptiste 'JB' is the editor in chief of BayLive. You can reach him directly at jeanbsu@baylivemedia.com.



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