The iPad HD Sucks*

Comment

*I haven’t actually seen it yet. I’m not actually sure what features it will have. I’m quite sure I’m a jackass for saying so right now. But hey — FIRST!!!!

There was a time not too long ago when the day before an Apple event was the time for everyone to get their last-minute predictions in. For the most part, it was a moment of pure wonder. These days, it seems it’s the time to pre-reflect on what Apple “will” announce. The shark has been jumped. The snake eats its own tail.

The problem — if you want to call it that — of course, stems from the fact that the tech sites with the best sources have gotten very good at nailing many of the key surprises which Apple ends up unveiling. (That’s why OS X Mountain Lion was so surprising — it was an actual surprise!) Most of them don’t get everything right. And they’re quite often wrong in many ways too. But there are so many people sniffing around now that eventually by way of process journalism, a consensus is reached and most of the good stuff is unearthed.

For tomorrow’s event, it sure seems like all of the following will be true: there will be a new iPad unveiled. It will be called the “iPad HD” and not the “iPad 3”. It will feature a “Retina” display that is twice the resolution of the previous iPad display. It will feature 4G LTE technology on some models. It will have more RAM than the previous versions. It will be slightly thicker. It will have a better camera. It will launch March 16. The prices will be the same. It will have a button.

Hell, we even seem to know that a new Apple TV is coming as well.

All of this knowledge leads to something inevitable: an initial letdown amongst some. This now seems to be a regular occurrence at Apple events. Again, people have gotten better at guessing what’s coming, but they want to be surprised. And yet, despite these “letdowns”, Apple is doing better than ever. The iPhone 4S was a “disappointment” and it’s Apple’s best-selling device. Last year’s iPad was also a “disappointment“. Again, massive success. Apple made $46 BILLION DOLLARS last quarter. Maybe they were shorting their ability to surprise and massively buying up shares of disappointment. But I don’t think so.

There’s a very real disconnect between some of those in the tech press and actual human beings, it seems.

It’s not just about advanced knowledge, of course. Some people probably have posts prepped and ready to go right now pointing out what a “disappointment” tomorrow’s announcement will be. The contrarians. It’s no secret that on days with huge news that everyone is writing about, this is the easiest way to drum up more pageviews.

And now there’s something else that feeds this beast. Because Apple continues their insane ascent to the top of the mountain, everyone wants to be the first to call “top!” and successfully predict the downfall of the company. You only build up companies to knock them down, after all. The past several years have left these people looking like total assclowns. But it doesn’t matter. Everyone forgets who said what two years ago. Or six months ago. Or a week ago. All that matters is if you were right this time.

And all that is fine if only because we’re used to it. What’s getting really ridiculous this year is pre-calling the “disappointment” for an event that hasn’t yet happened for a product that hasn’t yet been revealed. It’s almost like these are the pre-prepped contrarian posts that people are now just deciding to post before the event just for the hell of it. Why wait, right?

The Mercury News Service: “iPad 3 may disappoint”

CNET: “Apple should be blowing us away with the iPad 3, but it probably won’t.

The AP: “New iPad expected to have modest upgrades”

Etc, Etc, Etc. Being pre-disappointed is the new disappointed.

Again, we think we know everything — but what if we don’t? Or even if we do, is tomorrow really going to be disappointing? Apple is upgrading a dominant product in the market in a way that is likely to make it even more dominant. If the rumors are true, they’re giving us pretty much everything we can ask for. Seriously, what else do we want? “A fusion energy source? Teleportation? A camera that sees into the future?,” asks John Gruber.

All of this leads to posts where some of us call-out people who are likely to look like absolute morons six months from now when they declare tomorrow a disappointment. And posts that call-out people who are pre-declaring tomorrow to be a disappointment. And now there are even posts that pre-predict posts like this one. My head hurts.

Tomorrow is going to be amazing, and no one will be happy. Except, of course, the consumers who end up buying the product that absolutely sucks*.

[image: flickr/wangsy]

More TechCrunch

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

2 days ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’