The iPad 3

Another quantum leap.

The New iPad – I call it iPad 3 for clarity.

When iPad 1 came out I bought it on the first day. This was unlike digital cameras which took many years before sensors were large/good/cheap enough to make err… sense and indeed, when the Canon 5D came along all my film gear – Leicas and Rolleis – was out the door soon after. Henceforth, film would be for people with time and nostalgia on their hands.

But the iPad was different. The technology had been thoroughly debugged in several generations of iPhones and the price was right. Most importantly, as I wrote in The Unfair Advantage, the iPad created a rift between those who got it and those who did not. It was a quantum leap in delivering information and it is now increasingly becoming a creative tool, in addition to being the outstanding consumption device of our time. To all those naysayers who said “It’s for consumption only” (This is a bad thing? Is not much of study and learning consumption?) I say that I’m glad I don’t have you managing my money.

Since iPad 1 came along two years ago the only paper books I have bought have been on art and photographers. The lamentable state of migration for the latter, and the absence of a 21″ iPad makes that a necessity. But a decade hence, I would expect art books to go the way of all others. Into the garbage. All my technical gadget manuals exist solely on the iPad.

So it’s no surprise to say that some time later today, the nice Fedex man will deliver my 64gB iPad 3, complete with Verizon LTE 4G capability. I have been using iPad 1 tethered to my iPhone using AT&T for 3G and it works well if not very fast when wifi is not available, which is far more often than the press would have you believe. And I’m talking in civilization, meaning the Bay Area, not Fly Over country. The switch to Verizon is rational – better service, better 4G, better coverage. I’ll drop the tethering option on the iPhone and the net will be cost neutral.

Why upgrade? Because the new display will be like moving to an HD TV from a CRT. And the iPad is mostly about the display. The machine will be noticeably faster than the iPad 1 and Verizon LTE is rumored to knock the socks off home broadband! With broadband being the slowest link in the chain, that’s not trivial. It depends on how crowded the airwaves are but I have read that 20mbs download and 22 mbs upload are common. Compare that to 11/1.4 which is the best AT&T can deliver over antiquated copper cables to our home. The display and LTE are revolutionary changes, not evolutionary. The iPad promises to be faster on some tasks than all but the most capable desktop machines and with an unchanged battery life of an amazing 10 hours. iPad 1 was revolutionary. So is iPad 3.

iPad 1? First it’s off to repair for a new back. I have dropped it on all four corners on concrete over the past 23 months and it’s pretty badly dented. That’s what happens when you ride your bike with cameras, iPad and a propensity to fall off. Once refurbished, it will become a home TV and sound controller, as well as a book reader lying around for anyone wanting to use it, and moving one step closer to the reality of a tablet in every room. And, for the life of me, I cannot think why any sane person would buy a tablet from any other maker at this time. So you don’t like Apple? Get over it. It’s just a tool which has nothing to do with brand loyalty and everything to do with fitness for purpose.

Arthur C. Clarke the great novelist and futurist, nailed it back in 1968 in his book which became Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001 – A Space Odyssey; it would seem that Apple is well ahead of NASA at this point:

Aaah! So that’s whence the “pad” moniker came ….


My New iPad is up and running and I just signed up for Verizon 4G service. This is all you need to know – as expected the upload speed is completely insane and the download speed compares to home broadband:

The New iPad on Verizon 4G.


Home broadband – 11/1.4.
iPad1 on home wifi – 3.6/1.6
iPad1 tethered to AT&T 3G – you really do not want to know (OK, OK, it’s 1.4/0.3 if you really must know how much AT&T sucks)
iPhone 4S on home wifi – 2.9/1.8.

Like I said, the New iPad with Verizon 4G is a revolutionary development.

And finally, here is the iPhone 4S using the Verizon 4G hotspot from the New iPad – up to five devices are supported:

Can you say WOW!?

Unless 4G slows greatly with increasing adoption, Apple and Verizon have cut one of the biggest wires holding back true high speed mobile computing. And I promise this is the last time I will say anything nice about the US cellular oligopoly.


The iPad 3 uses a 43 watt Hour battery (iPad 2 – 25) so as both use the same charger, it will take 72% longer to fully charge. Based on my overnight measurement, iPad 3 will take 12.65 hours to fully charge from zero, compared with 7.4 hours for iPad 2. As there are only 24 hours in a day and the battery runs for 10 and needs 12 to recharge, you need to plug it in right away once fully drained, charging overnight, if you want to use the iPad 3 first thing in the morning. In practice, I find I rarely ran my iPad 1 down more than 50%, suggesting a recharge time of just over 6 hours to recharge fully.

Verizon 4G at peak hours – 3/20/2012 update.

Measured from a restaurant on Burlingame Broadway, at lunch. The diner has no wifi and I’m only getting 4 out of 5 bars signal strength:

What the good people of Seoul, South Korea have enjoyed for ages but will take a decade or two to come to the most powerful nation on earth ….

At 40+mbs download speeds everything is instantaneous, and faster than I can touch things on the screen.