Why Apple Can Ship The iPad 3 Instantly & Still Delight Its Users

Apple is about to announce the iPad 3 tomorrow and the rumor mills are running in full force. Lots of analysis, comparison and the buzz is understandable, but let’s get back to the basics. Last year, Google showed Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb at CES, it took several months for tablets to hit the market. Apps even more. It didn’t get that traction. Google again showed ICS several months back and we are yet to see tablets, apps and updates flow. Part of it is due to the friction between OS maker and manufacturer. The Google model is different from Apple. Agreed. But there is more to this. Microsoft has a similar model and they are managing well with Windows Phone 7 (at least till the Mango release).

Apple iPad 3

It is the architecture of iOS that gives Apple the advantage. Apple did a wonderful upgrade to the iPhone in 2010 with the Retina Display. The pixels quadrupled, from 480×320 to 960×640. And you still had 225,000 apps to choose from. You had an iOS upgrade for the 3GS and the iPhone 4 had an upgraded resolution. How did Apple do this? Well, given that the pixel’s increased in the same proportion (480×2 and 320×2), Apple simply rendered the app that way. They added some beauty by automatically adjusting the fonts (text) and controls (keyboard, navigation). Not a very deep technical solution, but a very well planned architecture.
Today as we hear the iPad 3 Retina Display rumors, we know that it won’t be any less than 4x the pixels. A 2048×1536 resolution compared to the 1024×768 on the iPad 1 & 2. Yet each and every app made for the iPad in 2010 would work right out of the box on the iPad 3. With developers upgrading the art work, it would get even better.

Quadruple the pixels is just one of the many reasons that gives Apple the leverage to ship the iPad 3 instantly after the announcement, but it says a lot about the inherent DNA of Apple. But the real utility isn’t about Apple delivering the iPad 3 instantly, it is actually the user experience on day 1.

It is not just integrated, it is not  propaganda, it is awesomeness… awesomeness shown & delivered!