Next week, Apple is likely going to announce two brand new iPads that will replace the current flagships in its arsenal. The first, and maybe the most anticipated, is the iPad mini 2, a device that should bring a Retina Display to the iPad mini for the first time. The second, a larger iPad 5, a device that will likely replace either the iPad 4 or the iPad 2. Here, we take a look at how the iPad 5 could stack up with Apple’s current budget option, the iPad 2.
All the way back in 2011, Apple announced the iPad 2, a device that replaced the original iPad on shelves and brought a number of new features to those in need of an iOS-powered slate. Last year, we saw not only one, but two new full-sized iPads make their debut. The iPad 3 arrived in March, and yet, the iPad 2 endured. Later in the year, Apple surprisingly announced the iPad 4, and yet, the iPad 2 endured.
Currently, the iPad 2, a device that is now several years old, is being sold alongside the iPad 4 inside Apple’s Store. However, it’s looking like that’s going to change very soon. Rumors suggest that the iPad 5 is in its way to replace the iPad 4 as the company’s flagship full-sized iPad. The device is rumored to be bringing all sorts of upgrades to the table and it’s likely to phase out at least one of the current models.
Apple loves keeping a budget option around for those that don’t want to spend $500, so, it’s possible that we could see the iPad 4 dip down $100, or, we could see the iPad 2 persevere. Even if the iPad 2 is knocked out of the Apple Store, we should still see it in the refurbished section, tempting buyers with its cheap price tag.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at how the iPad 2 should stack up with Apple’s rumored full-sized, fifth-generation iPad, an iPad that is currently called iPad 5.
The iPad 5 launch date is set for October 22nd at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It is there that we should learn all about the iPad 5 in addition to the fate of the iPad 2.
Apple is known for keeping budget options available to those that can’t afford the higher end product. However, it’s not clear if the iPad 2 will be sticking around or if it will be dropping the price of the iPad 4 down to the $399 price point that is currently occupied by the iPad 2. We have a feeling that the iPad 4 may be the one sticking around.
If it does, Apple will have unified most of its devices with the Lightning dock standard and the Retina Display. Another piece of evidence is that the iPad 2 just received its third iOS update, a sign that support will be dropped. So, we get the feeling that the iPad 2 could be dropped in favor of an iPad 5 and iPad 4 lineup.
So when is this going to happen? Well, given that the iPad 5 launch event is set for October 22nd, we expect Apple to make changes on October 22nd. If the iPad 2 is getting replaced, it will be taken out of the Apple Store next week. As for the iPad 5, we expect the release date to land around November 1st, a Friday, and 10 days after the iPad launch event.
Design is going to be an area where buyers are going to find a noticeable difference. The iPad 2 uses a familiar design, one that resembles those of the iPad 3 and the iPad 4. However, the device is a little thinner, checking in with a design that measures 8.8mm thin and weighs only 601 grams. That’s thinner and lighter than the iPad 3 and iPad 4.
The iPad 5 though is thought to have a redesign that will make it compact and thus, much more portable. Rumors suggest that the iPad 5 will take a design like the iPad mini, meaning, thin bezels in the front and anodized aluminum in the back. The entire form factor is thought to have been shaved down which should translate into a device that is far easier to lug around.
It’s thought to have an extremely thin design, possibly as thin as 7.35mm, and weigh significantly less than the iPad 4 and perhaps, the iPad 2 as well. What this means is that those who are thinking about taking the iPad out of the house will likely be enamored with the iPad 5 rather than the iPad 2, thanks to its brand new design.
The iPad 2 uses a 9.7-inch display but it doesn’t utilize Apple’s Retina Display. This means that the screen and its 1024 x 768 resolution at 132 pixels per inch can’t compare to the screen technology on board the iPad 3, iPad 4, or the iPad 5.
Apple’s new iPad isn’t expected to feature any resolution upgrades but it is expected to retain the same 9.7-inch Retina Display found on the two previous iPad models. What this means is that the iPad 5 display should produce better looking photos, video, text, web, and more. The screen, which uses 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch, will be far better than the iPad 2′s, making the iPad 5 the front-runner for those that enjoy fantastic looking content.
The iPad 2 is several years old which means that it uses technology that is several years old. So, in the case of its processor, it’s running Apple’s aging A5 dual-core chip that has since been replaced numerous times over. And while it will still offer decent performance, iOS 7 isn’t perfect but isn’t terrible either, it’s going to show its age next to the iPad 5.
That’s because the iPad 5 should come equipped with an A7 chip that will offer 64-bit support. Apple built iOS 7 with 64-bit support in mind so we expect the iOS 7 update to run extremely smooth on the new iPad. Speed is extremely important to many buyers and the iPad 5 should be able to outperform the iPad 2.
As for the camera tech, the iPad 2 uses a camera that is nowhere near as good as the one found on the iPad 4. The iPad 5 is expected to put the ante with a 8MP camera that could put it on par with the iPhone and thus, blow the iPad 2 camera out of the water. As for the front-facing camera, while the iPad 2 uses a VGA quality sensor, the iPad 5 should have a FaceTime HD camera in the front for better quality video chats.
The iPad 5 should offer more storage options as well with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models likely. The iPad 2 currently comes in 16GB form only and we don’t expect that to change, even if it does continue to be sold as new through the Apple Store. There are also rumors that suggest that the iPad 5 could have Touch ID embedded into its home button. If true, it would mean that the iPad 5 would have better security than the iPad 2 which does not possess a fingerprint reader.
The iPad 2 was recently updated to iOS 7, a massive change from the iOS 6 operating system that it was running in the months prior. iOS 7 brings a number of changes to the table including new features and a new look. However, the iPad 2 got the worst of the feature cuts as Apple did not outfit it with AirDrop, any of the new camera features, or Siri.
What’s worse is that iOS 6 should be the device’s last major update. The device launched with iOS 4 on board and it has subsequently been upgraded with three new versions of iOS including iOS 5, iOS 6, and iOS 7. Apple typically kills off support after three years, a sign that the iPad 2 could potentially get squeezed out by the iPad 4, a device that has a much longer life ahead of it.
The iPad 5 will be running iOS 7 out of the box. It should, given how new it is, be running a full version of iOS 7. In other words, it won’t be missing the features that the iPad 2 is missing. It could also come with some of the software features that arrived with the iPhone 5s including slow motion video. After all, it is said to be getting a camera upgrade.
At the very least, we should see a complete version of iOS 7 on board and given its age, iOS 7 will only be the beginning. The iPad 5 is poised to get upgrades all the way up through iOS 10.
The iPad 2 is currently available on the 3G networks of AT&T and Verizon and we don’t expect that to change. Ever. And that means that the iPad 5 should not only offer faster data speeds but it will more than likely offer far more choice when it comes to carriers.
The iPad 4 is currently available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Those carriers offer it on their 4G LTE networks where users can snag big time data speeds that often can rival Wi-Fi. A short time ago, T-Mobile, which recently began offering the iPhone, teased a possible iPad launch on its 4G LTE network. This is likely, given that it has the iPhone.
So, it could be that the iPad 5 will come to the 4G LTE networks of the four largest carriers in the United States while the iPad 2 toils on only two of the United States’ major carriers.
When the iPad 5 arrives, the price of the iPad 2 will drop with the iPad 5 assuming the mantle of flagship iPad. We fully expect the iPad 5 to take on the same $499 starting price tag that Apple clearly views as its sweet spot. And thus, we expect all of the other prices to remain the same meaning that it will stretch from $499 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi model to $930 for the 128GB 4G LTE variant.
It’s difficult to predict where the iPad 2 might end up because it’s not clear if the iPad 2 is going to stick around, or of it will wind up getting pushed out by the Retina Display powered iPad 4. If the iPad 2 does stick around, it will stay at its current $399 price. If it doesn’t stick around, we could see its refurbished price, which sits at $319, drop even lower.
No matter what happens, the iPad 2 will be cheaper than the iPad 5, something that should as a surprise to no one considering how old the iPad 2 is and how new the iPad 5 will be.