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  • Kaboose - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Nice little article, I hate how apple hasn't moved up from 16GB base model to 32GB (especially since most apps more then doubled in size!) Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    They are size constrained; they chose instead to make the battery bigger.

    When they can move back to PoP and stack the DRAM on top of the CPU they will have enough space, again, to increase the flash on the thing.

    Or they might figure out how to make the screen more efficient, reducing the number of LEDs, thereby shrinking the battery, and making more space for storage.
  • Peanutsrevenge - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Yea, gotta hate how big those microSD cards are!
    That's an idea, allow consumers to upgrade their own storage, wow, that's a bloody great idea!
  • parlour - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Bad idea from a user experience perspective. Having to manage where things end up is very confusing and hard to get right. If the OS tries to do it, it’s bound to confuse users, if the user has to do it there has to be this whole other level of file management on top of everything.

    One example: So there is an app in the internal memory and it needs more space, so it saves some of its stuff on the card. What happens when the user takes out the card? That's not unsolvable problem, mind you, but it adds unneeded complexity.

    (I’m not sure about this, but isn’t speed also a concern here? If apps on external memory load slower user experience suffers.)
  • artemicion - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Very apt observation. Illustrates the difference between design focused on end-user-experience and design focused on features. Apple haters tend to favor the products with the longer spec sheets whereas Apple loyalists tend to favor products that are simpler because less options = less clutter.

    Rather fruitless to debate which camp is "right." Personally, I prefer the more open experience of PCs on my desktop and prefer the simpler Apple experience on my mobile devices.
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Well, I am an Android user and for me non-removable microSD is a deal breaker, also on Android phones.
    It goes beyond my comprehension why Google decided not to have a removable microSD on the Nexus S, which is "huge".
    I don't remove my SD card very often, but there are times where I find it priceless (e.g.: updating my music -which can take some time while I make up my mind- without having to stay plugged in).

    I do see the point about less option vs more features. Personally, I think Apple does not give the freedom to upgrade the microSD so they can charge $100 more to go from 16GB to 32GB ( while a 16GB microSD class10 costs $18 ( and you can get 16GB for cheaper with lower speed class.

    They do it because they can. I'd do the same if I was them.
  • gorash - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Honestly, we're not 6 year olds... Even if we couldn't store apps on memory cards, we can at least store movies and photos and music on SD cards. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    You expect too much from your average user. Reply
  • defter - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    That's a poor excuse. This problem can be solved easily if apps that are installed to the memory, don't use memory card by default.

    The real reason for omitting memory card slot is greed. 16GB microSD card costs $16 in retail Apple is paying a lot less for it. Thus Apple takes $10-12 worth of memory and sells it for $100 (price difference between 16GB and 32GB models), quite a good business.

    This is also the reason why they are still selling 16GB model. If they would increase the minimum memory size to 32GB then the cheapest Ipad wouldn't look that cheap anymore. And if they would sell 32GB model for $499, then they would lose 16GB.

    Lack of memory card slot also means that the only way to increase your memory is to buy a new device. This also benefits Apple, since there are users who are happy with their device otherwise, but want more memory.

    Unfortunately, most of the consumers are quite stupid and they are wooed by cheap initial prices (oooh, Ipad is only $499, Iphone is cheap with contract). They don't realize that by choosing inflexible products they are paying much more in the end.
  • name99 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Yes yes, you hate non-removable batteries and no USB port the lack of an ability to add a slow crappy external memory to your device. We've heard it a thousand times already.
    Go buy a fscking playbook or whatever it is you want and stop wasting our time with the same damn complaints we've been hearing since the original iPhone.
  • chasm22 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    name99 tell me, with the title of the thread being what it is, what insight did you contribute except that of an Apple fanboy obviously upset that his wonderful company has now launched an iPad and an iPhone whom between them can't list anything new except Siri and a retina display. Whew, I'm breathless. No wonder the stock is soaring. Apple has finally discovered how to put lipstick on a pig and turn it into an _____!


    My razr offers me the choice of where I wish to make the preferred storage. Two choices--internal hd or external memory card. There is an additional setting where with one click the program will scan your entire internal (harddrive)storage for music,photos and videos only, and if there are any it will give you the option of storing them internally or externally.

    Furthermore, many Android apps giving you the option of placing them on the memory card, certainly handy when you're talking about apps like Google Sky Map or many of the games . NFS was a 100mb download.

    I'm no expert, but I believe storing an app on the SD card doesn't equate to a performance loss.
  • steven75 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Please try using an iOS device before commenting on one and making yourself look dumb. Reply
  • gamoniac - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    I got an iPad2 for my folks. I like it but it's a deal breaker for myself because it does not have any USB port or SD card slot. Apple should include these; for people who don't want to use them, simply don't. For me, they are a must.

    Like others have pointed out, other Mac products have SD slots, so what are the excuses? None, it's all about profits. Not all SD cards are born equal.
  • NCM - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Gamoniac writes: "Like others have pointed out, other Mac products have SD slots, so what are the excuses? None, it's all about profits. Not all SD cards are born equal."

    You seem to be confused: the iPad is not a Mac product. Macs use OS X, but the iPad uses iOS, and iOS by design does not have a user accessible file system. Your imagining motives, base or otherwise, for what some company does is unlikely to result in an argument that's convincing.

    Now it might suit your convenience to have a user accessible file system, or some other way to manage extensible storage, but that's not the market that Apple is serving. And the iPad sales results suggest, to say the least, that Apple is not wasting its efforts.

    However if that's not what you want, then get a Galaxy Tab or some other product.
  • chasm22 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Listen steve. I'm sixty years old. I've been around the block. Still, I continue to be amazed by simple-minded statements like yours.

    I'm assuming you're capable of understanding what a sequence of events are?

    Your buddy name99 injected himself into this thread with this paragraph [; "Go buy a fscking playbook or whatever it is you want and stop wasting our time with the same damn complaints we've been hearing since the original iPhone"??? I responded. And somehow, in that sparsely populated portion of your body you use to convey your 'thoughts'(forgive me for taking some liberty with this word)you can only manage to squeel that I need to buy an Apple product or I might look dumb? Sir, can I ask if you possess a physician's recommendation for the use of marijuana and if you do could you please let me know which collective you use? Because there are times when I wish I could go brain dead as you seem to have done.
    Or perhaps you worship at the church of Our Ignorance Is Blissful,

  • yankeeDDL - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Wow. Well said! Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Having used first an iPod Touch (2nd Gen, IIRC I got it around the time Android was first coming out), then a Galaxy S, and now an iPhone 4S, I have to say I definitely prefer the iOS ecosystem.

    I like to install random apps to try them out, but apps in Android land seemed to regularly want to puke out random data to the SDcard (and yet, generally not the saves...). Every app, also, had their own idea of the appropriate place to store its arbitrary data on the SDcard... some would just dump it into the root directory, others would put it in Config (IIRC that was the name), others would make a folder with the name of their app... every conceivable place!

    This meant that, over time, the SDcard was littered with all sorts of random files belonging to who-knows-what program. Deleting the programs wouldn't clean up the mess they left on the SDcard.

    Of course, you also have to worry about moving programs over to the slow-ass SDcard, because the manufacturer cheaped out and only put 2 gigs of internal memory into the thing (but just the variant sold on this network in this region... thanks Samsung)! And SDcards are SLOW, even "fast" ones in comparison to internal storage.

    Unless Google manages to enforce some consistency in Android land, I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon. At least I don't have to root my iPhone to be able to make a backup!
  • UpSpin - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    If you prefer not having access to a a file system at all (iOS) I don't understand why you bother accessing the file system on Android then? You can use Android just like iOS, just don't open a file explorer, you don't have to. You can open images via the image viewer, music via music player, ...
    Moving apps to SD-Card should be a thing of the past, of older phones. You also can get an iPhone full, but there there's no option to extend storage as it is on Android, there you have to buy a full new more expensive iPhone.
    SD-Cards are slow? How do you notice. As a HTC Desire user I'm forced to put all my apps on the SD-Card and I don't notice any delay.
    Backup: You can do a full OS backup on a iPhone, just as you can with Windows or any other mature OS? No! But you can with a rooted Android phone. Without root you can do a backup of your personal data.
  • parlour - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    As I said, it’s not an unsolvable problem, but it adds complexity. Reply
  • gorash - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Slow crappy external memory? Yeah, right. MacBooks come with SD card slots so you can't use that excuse. Gotta love how the fanboys justify everything. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    (a) How many people do you know who are using their MacBook Pro SD card slot as a hard drive? Why not? Because SD is slow crappy storage.

    (b) If all you want is to to suck in photos off SD-cards (the reason Apple added SD-card readers to MacBooks) buy the damn iPad camera kit. It sells in any Apple store. It has been around for at least a year, maybe two years.

    Look, Apple sells the product it sells. The way it wants to do things in this (iOS) space has been obvious for at least five years. Complaining that they won't adapt their ways to suit what you CLAIM you want (and let's be honest, you're not going to buy an iPad even if they do every damn thing you ask for) is a waste of everyone's time.
  • gorash - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    1. That depends on the SD card, of course. SD cards are getting faster.

    2. Great, so now I have to buy a $30 dongle sticking out just to use an SD card? That would make the iPad less portable, a device which is supposed to be portable.
  • gorash - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Let's face it, the real reason why they didn't include an SD slot is so people will buy their overpriced internal memories. Reply
  • FATCamaro - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    No, SDCards are slow. This is why they haven't been traditionally used in high end DSLRs. Reply
  • havoti97 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    I don't need the lastest and greastest SATA III bandwidth to stream movies off an SD card. Of course the moment Apple includes the SD slot, it will render the 32 and 64GB models unattractive to 99% of the potential buyers. Reply
  • Einy0 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Yes, slower than top end CF cards. I hardly call 20-30 MB/s slow especially for music and movie files. Someone else hit the nail on the head, Apple doesn't put as SD card slot because people won't buy their over-priced higher capacity versions if they did. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Top end SDcards might be able to get slightly decent sequential performance, but they're still horrible for random read/writes (which are always what hurts you the most).

    I sprung for an expensive 32GB SD card (the highest Class I could find... I'd have to dig it out of the phone to be sure the exact one), and the performance was still crap. Sure, sure, it's fine for playing movies/music, but those are ideal situations for it... large sequential files!

    For other things? Not so much.
  • Dug - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Macbooks have an SD card to transfer content to the Macbook, such as pictures from camera. It's not used as a storage device.

    You can transfer data from SD to iPad too with an adapter. They didn't add it because of space. And most people will use icloud or any other computer to get their data anyway.

    No one in their right mind would keep anything of value on and SD card. They are crappy and they do fail all the time.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I think Apple has concentrated on other components and increasing the storage would not fit in the bill of materials. NAND is priced per GB so you don't get more GB for more money when buying bigger capacities, hence 32GB costs about twice as much as 16GB. Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't be surprised if the additional cost in component materials has reduced their profit margin with this 3rd gen iPad. All of this tech seems well ahead of the curve for a $499 entry price. Reply
  • r3loaded - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Hasn't Elpida just filed for bankruptcy? I hope there's enough stock of chips to supply Apple. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link
    (Document for 8Gb variety but nomenclature should be the same)

    The -8D on the Elpida RAM is for LPDDR2-800. It's disappointing that Apple didn't move to LPDDR2-1066 to better feed the stronger GPU.

    If the A5X requires a heat spreader and can't use PoP for the RAM, does that make the A5X inappropriate for the next iPhone since the iPhone doesn't really have logic board room to spare for separate RAM chips?
  • name99 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    My guess is that what we are seeing here is a plan B.

    Plan A was to use the A6, but that was presumably delayed, so we have Apple scrambling to stick a better GPU on the A5 die, and other niceties were brushed aside. This included DRAM PoP.

    I also suspect that we might see an iPad speed bump maybe in November or so, swapping the A6 (and likely also the 9615) into as otherwise unmodified device. Doing so would, among other things, allow Apple to deliver the second part of the "new iPad" message --- we sell devices, not specs, and we upgrade them when we're ready.
    If I'm right that a plan B was necessary for this iPad because the world expected a new model announcement in March, then I imagine Apple was mighty pissed off that they were forced into a situation where they had to scramble in this way, and will do everything they can to break future expectations. A speed bump in the second half of the year is the easiest way to do that.

    (I suspect they likewise want to get off the "new iPhone expected in July" treadmill. Let's not be surprised if this one is likewise called "new iPhone", NOT iPhone 5, and if Apple likewise --- maybe again in November --- throws in a minor speed bump --- maybe improved flash or better WiFi or something --- to break people's expectations of when iOS devices are updated.)
  • agent2099 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Considering the iphone 4S is almost identical hardware to the iphone 4, apple has had 2 years to work on the iphone 5. For this reason I doubt it will be "delayed." I expect a new iphone this summer. We are already at 21 months of the same iphone shell, with apple only upgrading the internals. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    if A6 is delayed because of, eg problems in a new process at the fab, it doesn't matter how long iPhone 5 has been in planning. Unexpected things happen and that is life. Reply
  • gunblade - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I don't believe Apple is using managed NAND yet. So, in this case this should be a standard 8bit synchronous NAND device. Reply
  • Mugur - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    I believe that the "plot" to have only one iPad, one iPhone like MBP etc. may be true. The fantastic thing about Apple is that they managed to really have no use for better cpu/ram/etc specs in their iDevices. This of course because of their OS/closed ecosystem (you know the saying: "Try to look pretty while doing nothing").

    Needless to say that this is not what I like, that's why I will probably never own an iDevice...

    Of course they will up the specs when really need it (like the GPU for the 2048x1536 screen). In fact, the screen is now the only reason one person outside the Apple magical marketing circle would buy a new iPad for. But besides web browsing, reading and photos, there will be, for a long time, no other application that will use that resolution. All other content will be scaled up from 1024x768 for two reasons: they will have to work on the older model(s) too and the lack of performance from cpu/gpu. It's like buying an 1080p notebook with an entry level (or any level by the way) GPU from NVIDIA or AMD and try to play the latest games at native resolution with every detail maxed out... And for 2048x1536 you need now a Core i7 / Radeon 7970 with a 500W PSU.
  • Ragashingo - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    The early benchmarks I've seen floating around showed the new iPad to have GPU performance that exceeded its increase in resolution. Meaning that a game or app on the new iPad can run at full "retina" resolution and still get a performance boost.

    As for content needing to be scaled. Yeah, that will happen for a bit, but the iOS community is fairly unsympathetic to developers who take too long to update their apps to support the latest thing. Apps not supporting the new screen resolution or new new OS features tend to fall by the wayside and get replaced by ones that do.
  • UpSpin - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    pixel resolution got quadrupled compared to the iPad 2
    GPU performance got doubled (in an ideal wordl) compared to the iPad 2.

    A game which runs on the iPad 2 in the native resolution and maxes the GPU out on the iPad 2, will not be able to run in the iPads 3 native resolution with the same effects turned on.

    So either they have to upscale the game, thus no use of the retina display in games, or turn off effects, thus worse effects. So a high end game will be forced to upscale. That's simple mathematics.
  • Steelbom - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    You said: "But besides web browsing, reading and photos, there will be, for a long time, no other application that will use that resolution. All other content will be scaled up from 1024x768 for two reasons: they will have to work on the older model(s) too and the lack of performance from cpu/gpu."

    That's not how apps scaling works on iOS. The OS handles everything, which means, all non-OpenGL ES apps will automatically take advantage of the higher resolution. (Text, UI and such.) The only aspect the developer needs to deal with aside from possible minor code tweaking, and I mean minor, is to provide double resolution media.

    OpenGL ES games will run at the original resolution until updated, but there's nothing preventing developers from updating. It won't break app compatibility.

    Regarding performance, the CPU won't be stressed from the higher resolution and the GPU is enough to handle the higher resolution. Look at Infinity Blade: Dungeons and Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, both which were demoed at the Keynote, and they run on the iPad 3. Infinity Blade 2 has been updated already to support the retina display on the iPad 3, as has Real Racing 2, the latter saying it runs at 2048x1536 with 4x AA. No word yet on what Infinity Blade 2 runs at, but I'd expect 2048x1536 as well.
  • UpSpin - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    ' is to provide double resolution media.'
    that's the important thing: The resolution is four times bigger!
    iPad 2: 0.7MP
    iPad 3: 3.1MP

    That's why people complain about the GPU. The GPU is fast, but it's only two times faster than the iPad2 GPU, while games on the iPad 3 have to process four times pixels. So a simple increase of resolution in high end games will render them useless. They can increase the resolution but aren't able to use the native resolution.
  • ufon68 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    "All other content will be scaled up from 1024x768 for two reasons: they will have to work on the older model(s) too and the lack of performance from cpu/gpu. It's like buying an 1080p notebook with an entry level (or any level by the way) GPU from NVIDIA or AMD and try to play the latest games at native resolution with every detail maxed out... And for 2048x1536 you need now a Core i7 / Radeon 7970 with a 500W PSU."

    You couldn't be more wrong about everything there.
    The developers will make their apps to support both resolutions obviously, and you don't need those specs for that resolution. It's not the resolution itself which is demanding, it's what you're trying to display. I believe we can expect about the same amount of details in the new high res titles as in those for iPad2(or their iPad2 versions), but they'll be running at a higher res, so they will look better. I can guarantee you pretty much everyone will update their app to support the resolution, that goes for new titles, and for most old titles, at least those which are making money.
  • UpSpin - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    if you quadruple the resolution but only double the GPU performance games which max out the iPad 2 GPU will not run on the iPad 3 in its 'retina' resolution without modifications. Either you have to upscale from maybe half the resolution or reduce GPU intensive effects to compensate the lack of missing GPU power.

    Things will look better on the iPad 3 than they do on the iPad 2, but they won't look four times better, which the retina marketing thing could imply, but only two times better, because the limiting factor is the GPU which is only, theoretically, two times faster but has to handle four times the amount of pixels.
  • Steelbom - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Performance requirements don't necessarily scale linearly with resolution. So having four times as many pixels but only twice the GPU power as the iPad 2 doesn't mean it'll perform half as well in the same games.

    Look at Modern Combat 3, it's running at 2048x1536 smoothly on the iPad 3, and it's got fantastic graphics.
  • Raghu - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Dont think Apple would have ever used wire bonding for the A5. Its not used in any of the new age SoCs. Ancient technology for low density/speed signaling. Reply

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