3 Things Small Businesses Should Know About the New iPad

The popularity of Apple’s iPad is no secret, and small-business owners are no exception to the trend. iPad usage quadrupled among small and midsize businesses in 2011, according to a recent survey conducted by The Business Journals.

The new iPad, officially introduced on Wednesday, will likely only fuel the fandom. Whether your business is already using the tablet, is doubtful of its actual value, or lies somewhere in between, here are three things to keep in mind about the latest version.

1) It’s not overwhelmingly new. There are no doubt a host of noteworthy new features in the latest version of Apple’s market-dominating tablet. (Among the less thrilling: Apple is calling it just “iPad” instead of “iPad 3.”) Highlights include a 2048 x 1536-pixel HD retina display, a faster processor, and 4G LTE wireless internet access on either Verizon or AT&T’s networks. But while there are some clear upgrades, it’s not a revolutionary change from iPad 2. (Apple’s website coined the term “resolutionary,” which is a bit more accurate.) If your business already uses an earlier iPad, your investment isn’t suddenly obsolete. An example: the new display is no doubt impressive — Apple’s touting it as the highest resolution ever on a mobile device — but unless you record, watch, or present tons of HD video and other visual media for your business, it’s not necessarily a must-have.

2) iPad 2 just got cheaper. If you’ve held off purchasing an iPad because you’re on a shoestring budget, consider a bit of news beyond the main headlines: Apple’s knocking down the price of the iPad 2 to compensate for the fact that it’s now “old,” even though it just came out last year. If you can work without the higher-resolution display or 4G LTE network — and the safe bet says you can — a 16GB Wi-Fi model can be had for $399, while its 3G counterpart will run you $529. Each is $100 less than the new counterpart. Compare the “old” and the new iPads side-by-side to see if the extra cash is worth it to you.

3) It won’t call you “Rock God.” Given the iPad’s immense popularity and that of Apple in general, advance news of the new launch kept the rumor mill working 24/7. So it’s worth mentioning what’s not in the new iPad now that it’s no longer under wraps. For one, there’s no Siri — the virtual assistant technology Apple released in the latest iPhone. (The new iPad does offer dictation functionality, however.) Another guess that didn’t prove true: A late-breaking report speculated the new iPad would include “haptic” vibrations, the touch-screen feedback familiar to many Android smartphone users.

Are you impressed with the new iPad? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

About Kevin Casey

Kevin Casey is a regular contributor here, at InformationWeek and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @kevinrcasey.
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