Today at Apple’s press event, the company announced that the iPad would receive an update. In order to harmonize the product line, the iPad will now come with a Lightning port. A6X and expanded LTE will be added to the iPad as well.
The Lightning port is a good addition for iPhone 5 customers who are going to buy an iPad before the holidays. It will help Apple simplify the product line for accessories and reduce costs related to the supply chain.
Apple surprised us with a couple of other changes. The A6X was added to the iPad as well as expanded LTE support. The “X” means improved graphic capabilities compared to the A6 — something needed for the bigger screen. The company has kept the same design and the same price. When it comes to battery, the new A6X system-on-a-chip plays an important role.
As iPhone 5 teardowns have proven, the new A6 is completely redesigned and much more energy efficient. Apple claims that the improved processor and LTE connectivity don’t come with a drawback, users will enjoy the same 10-hour battery life.
Even though Apple calls it the fourth generation iPad, changes are merely internal upgrades and a new port. The front-facing camera has been updated from VGA to HD. The screen and design remain the same. Yet, Apple makes a smart move right before the holiday season. Those iPads will probably sell well.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will change its update cycle for that device. The iPad unveiled today may be the sign of a new release cycle with new models coming out every year right before the holiday season.