A Nice Consequence Of Apple Moving iPad Launches To October


Apple pulled off something unexpected at its iPad mini Special Event. It released the new 4th generation iPad, only a few months after it unveiled the third generation iPad with Retina Display. It also released the iPad mini, a 7.9 inch avatar of the iPad.

There have been a lot of theories going around as to why Apple chose to refresh the larger iPad during this event, ranging from axing the old 30-pin connector to adding a much better SoC to the device. The decision of course wouldn’t have been taken solely on the basis of a single factor, with many more such factors being taken into consideration in the process.

We explore one such angle that might have gone behind Apple’s decision to alter the iOS device refresh timeline, that is iPhones and iPods in September and iPads in October. (All the statements made below are based on the assumption that Apple sticks to the same refresh cycle.)

If you follow Apple’s software releases closely, you know that the company announces major upgrades to its software, including iOS and OS X, only during its annual developer conference, WWDC, held in June every year. You may also remember that the first three generations of the iPad released within the March – April timeframe, only a few months before a major iOS upgrade.

This meant that all the first three generations of the iPad released with an OS that was about to receive a major upgrade within the next few months. The iPad 1 ran iOS 3.2, the iPad 2 ran iOS 4.3 and the iPad 3 ran iOS 5.1, each of which was shortly followed by iOS 4, iOS 5 and iOS 6 respectively.

Compare this to the iPhone, which has consistently been released after a major iOS version update is announced, and has always shipped with iOS x.0, that is the first version of a major iOS release as opposed to the last iteration of a soon-to-be outdated version of iOS.

It’s always nice to have fresh software, right out of development, to complement new hardware releases. In certain cases like Siri, new software even demands the power and features brought along with new hardware. When the approach taken by a company is to tightly integrate software and hardware, releases of both these components going hand-in-hand is always much better than having products being released all around the year. The iPad’s launch timing always seemed like an exception, with devices being released right at the end of an iOS release cycle, and this change addresses this inconsistency.

We of course do not know if this was actually a reason behind the decision to move the iPad refresh to October, or just a nice, perhaps even unintended, consequence. Either way, it’s great to know that a product you’ve bought comes with the first release of a major iOS version right out of the box.

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Categories: iOS, iPad News, iPhone News

  • Hovabyte

    I take it from this you don’t expect iPad 5 in march

    • Shrivatsa Somany

      That would make sense.

      Unless Apple is really on a troll run.

    • http://rounak.me/ Rounak Jain

      I don’t, but a lot of people do.

      • Shrivatsa Somany

        I too don’t think so. I quite agree with your ideology behind the shifting time frame. I guess it’s a better time to launch it as well (it being the holiday season and all)…so yeah, troll run? Probably not, hopefully not…definitely not..amirite? Come on, tell me it ain’t true.

        I need to start getting more sleep.

  • Alex

    Apple released iPad 4 early because there’s a built in set of buyers who will always buy the latest device, developers & fanatics and such, so, by hitting iPad sales with early buys of the new device, they lesson the perception iPad mini sales have reduced iPad sales. This way they get to claim iPad mini created a new market.

    • http://rounak.me/ Rounak Jain

      I doubt apple could pull off a “we created the smaller tablet market”

      • Jay

        They’ve already begun: “We’d never make a 7 inch…7.9 inches is 35% more screen space…” Etc

        • http://rounak.me/ Rounak Jain

          that’s their own spin to it, but even the guys at apple know that adding an inch to a tablet, and claiming that a new market is created is pure BS.

  • AT&T Rapes Me

    They did to stay ahead of all the new tablets coming out, and needed the ipad to be a little bit faster so they would buy this and not windows or googles

  • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

    This theory makes sense. If they wanted to move Device releases to post-OS releases, eventually they HAD to pull the trigger and piss SOMEBODY off. Apparently, it was iPad 3 buyers who have the “I HAVE to have the newest device” complex.

  • mobydick

    apple will still launch something new during march-april period which is ipad mini with A6 chip. they can actually put in A6 chip to ipad mini now but if they do this now, the gap with ipad 3 will be closer. now the ipad gap is wider and they can cover more revenue.

  • L

    And also the fact that the ipad3 was a market share losing leading product, because of an unbalanced screen and graphic power. And also that Christmas is coming.