I have read nearly every rumor concerning the iPad 5, no matter how outlandish, game-changing, or downright ridiculous. When it comes to upcoming Apple products, generally nobody knows anything because Apple Computers is more tight-lipped than the Mafia. The iPad 5 could literally come out tomorrow.
The Internet is my generation's gift to mankind; a true information super-highway. However, just like actual highways, the Internet has distracted drivers, exhausted commuters, and sometimes even a Mini Cooper driving the wrong way full speed down a freeway while on fire. The occasional pile-up is bound to occur.
If you're thinking of getting an iPad to enhance your productivity, give your children an edge in school, or even replace your current laptop, the worst thing you can do is wait for a release date that is probably still months away. Here are four practical reasons not to wait on the iPad 5:
1.) The iPad 5 probably won't be much different. The days of every new computer technology making its predecessor completely obsolete are over. iPads especially are prone to have only minor, incremental improvements. Many Apps will still run on an iPad 2. A surprising number of productivity Apps are still functional on an iPad 1. The iPad 5 will probably have some minor improvements here and there, but it's unlikely that Apples is going to release a tablet with 8GB RAM, two quad-core processors, and a holographic keyboard. Any improvement over the 4 will be minor, and likely won't have App exclusivity for several years.
2.) Apple's Exchange Window. Apple's standard policy on device returns is 14 days for iPads. This means that if the iPad 5 came out within two weeks since you bought your iPad 4, you'd be able to return it and get the next gen instead (assuming you bought it through Apple. If you went via Amazon or eBay, you're pretty much on your own.). When the iPad 4 was released, Apple Stores across the U.S. extended that return window to 30 days. There's no guarantee they'll do that again, but I'd say it's pretty likely. However, a friend of mine bought her iPad 3 within that window, and decided on keeping it rather than the free upgrade. She's still happy with that decision.
3.) You may end up waiting a long, long time. When I was thinking of purchasing an iPad back in February, there were all kinds of rumors that the next iPad would be released in March. I hesitated; after all, I could wait a little longer, right? Luckily, a good friend who works at an Apple Store brought me to my senses. He told me that if I needed it, I should get it, bringing up both of the points above. I'm glad I did; if I would have continued waiting, I would still be waiting today. If you're thinking of integrating the iPad into your professional life, don't lose out by waiting on internet rumors.
4.) If the timing is right, the timing is right. Perhaps you're like me; you strike while the iron is hot. Early this year, my family came into some sudden, unexpected money. I knew that if I waited too long, that windfall would be gone, spent on something else. If you are in a similar situation where you can afford to buy an iPad, and it will have clear benefits to do so, don't wait around. The sooner you begin to use a new device, the sooner it becomes useful, then intrinsic, then indispensable. I'm not arguing for people to spend extra money flippantly, but if integrating the iPad into your workflow will help you to get more things done faster and better, and you have the money to responsibly afford one, don't try to outsmart the market. The iPad is not stock.
In the end, the decision to buy or wait rests on you and your needs. If I had to speculate, I would guess that the iPad 5 will be released in early November, just like the iPad 4 (in time for the holidays). But do you know who I heard that from? NO ONE. It is literally just a guess, just like it is with nearly every other Apple blogger who tries to predict Apple's next big release.
Thinking about integrating the iPad into your business or professional life? Have questions about capabilities and deployment? Email me today to discover how the iPad can help your business: editor[at]iPad4Life.net .