Even though Apple continues to give consumers a steady stream of life-changing, habit altering new products, gadgets, and software every couple years -- users all over the United States and Canada are desperately trying to figure out the iPhone 5 release date for North America, as well as the iPad 3 release date. Apple has been busy though... Recently they announced their iBooks 2 service and iBook Author application for iPad - making a bold step into academic publishing. High school, university, and college textbooks seem to be the next major market that Apple is going after with its new partnerships with Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and others, and it affects these other platforms.
iPhone 5 Release Date
The rumor mill for the iPhone 5 release date puts it between June and September of 2012. Thismakes sense because it puts the new model iPhone on sale before the important back to school shopping, and all of the 'off to college' purchases are made. If it has the dual processor A6 chip in it, and a 10MP camera, it will definitely tempt many users to upgrade - including those from iPhone 3. The new power of these latest gadgets also completely validates the strategy and process of Apple designing its own chips in recent years -- although manufacturing will still likely be done by Samsung and others. It will also be interesting to see if there are other serious design updates that have an impact on the functionality. At this point, I expect mostly software based innovations.
Apple may have disappointed some users in October 2011 by introducing the iPhone 4S rather than the greatly anticipated iPhone 5 -- but there clearly were not enough improvements over the previous model to warrant the new number. Of course Siri, the new voice assistant, was the big change that Apple was touting at that release. Let’s see if iPhone 5 makes any changes to how you use that function. Much of what seems to go into new releases now for Apple is design implementation improvements of internal functionality. If the iPhone gets some near field capability, watch how ecommerce is likely a target there. (Many have been anticipating some sort of team up with MasterCard and or Visa on this front!) That may require some new hardware updates.
iPad 3 Release Date
With the help of various production schedules, and reports from manufacturing sources, the latest rumors online put the iPad 3 release in spring 2012, likely April. It will also probably feature that A6 processor - but likely in a quad-core format. Techradar.com is one of the places online also suggesting that the case of the iPad 3 might be different based on Apple’s hiring of a ‘senior composites engineer’. This engineer has been at Apple almost a full year based on his Linkedin page, after more than thirteen (13) years developing carbon composite bicycles for Kestrel. This would mean a lighter more durable iPad design. Will they be ready by spring? How many new users will finally get an iPad then?
The release of a new iPad model might also signal a new Apple OS (operating system), and the timing might align with their plans to make serious inroads into the academic textbook publishing market. With a possible April 2012 release, the new iPad, a number of titles available because of their publisher deals, and the groundswell from iBook Author, they might just change college bookstores and textbook buying habits forever starting with the fall 2012 semester. The strategy with iBook Author, a free Mac application that allows easy iPad-formatted textbook publishing, might just be to create enough direct-to-publishing multi-touch interactive books to pull the rest of the market towards Apple’s new plan. It’s also a major attack on Amazon, the Kindle, the Kindle Fire, the Barnes and Noble Nook reader, and every other e-book reader and tablet out there that’s suffering from just-a-bit-too-slow adoption to really matter. (Speaking of competition... Can Research in Motion even survive as a stand alone company through 2012?)
It was the widespread use of the iPod, plus the fully stocked iTunes store, that made Apple number one in music retail. Even though Amazon has a big lead in books and ebooks, the Kindle cannot be the tablet of choice for academic publishing because it can’t offer the 3D graphics, interactive design, multi-touch capability, embedded audio and video, and all the other features Apple has unveiled in its iPad for textbook publishing. On top of that Apple has the iTunes store and iTunes University, which already has so much content that this is what higher ed has been waiting for. College will change -- academic teaching may even change -- if this technology is adopted into academic publishing worldwide. Can you imagine the college sales of iPads if this is widely adopted? There are individual colleges in Florida that have more than 40,000 students! Spin this out to the entire country...
The release date for the iPhone 5, the release date for the iPad 3 and the development of the iBooks 2 service and adoption of the iBook Author app means that Apple’s going to have a quite a year in 2012.