iPad2 Upgrades, Memory Remains Unchanged

The much anticipated announcement of the {complink 379|Apple Inc.} iPad2 took place yesterday. Despite his ongoing health issues, CEO Steve Jobs actually made the announcement and received a standing ovation. Many of the announced features were expected improvements over the iPad.

The basics include:

  • Dual-core A5 processors increasing the CPU speed twofold with graphics up to nine times faster
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras and gyroscope
  • Form factor is thinner than the iPhone4 at 8.8mm and weighs less than its predecessor at 1.3lbs vs. 1.5lbs
  • Battery life remains the same at 10 hours
  • HDMI output for 1080p quality viewing from iPad2 to the TV
  • Upgraded operating system to the iOS 4.3 and faster Javascript
  • 65,000 native iPad apps available
  • Ships in the US on March 11 and worldwide on March 25

With all these changes, two aspects of the iPad2 remain the same as the iPad: memory capacity (still available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB) and pricing. However, the software and application improvements and additions associated with the release of the iPad2, as well as the release of tablet PCs from {complink 12925|Motorola Mobility Inc.}, {complink 4751|Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.}, {complink 1544|Dell Inc.}, {complink 2376|Hewlett-Packard Co.}, and others, will continue to drive NAND Flash demand.

Approximately 17 million tablet PCs shipped in 2010; 15 million of those were iPads. In 2011, {complink 7526|Semico Research Corp.} projects iPad and iPad2 sales of over 30 million units worldwide. The introduction of the iPad2 and competition from others entering the space will help stabilize Flash memory average selling prices and lead to NAND Flash revenues increasing nearly 10 percent in 2011. On behalf of NAND Flash manufacturers around the world, thank you, Apple and all tablet PC manufacturers.

11 comments on “iPad2 Upgrades, Memory Remains Unchanged

  1. t.alex
    March 3, 2011

    With this continuous improvements from Apple, iPad seems to be a more heavyweight challenge to Android tablets.

    I may come as no surprise soon tablets will replace netbooks in the near future.

  2. mfbertozzi
    March 3, 2011

    Sam, thanks for deep details about new characteristics/features iPad2 is bringing now. After checking them, it seems vendors are improving several aspects but key factor remain battery. “green tablet” with solar recharge directly from original  manufacturing is a futuristic vision?

  3. elctrnx_lyf
    March 3, 2011

    NAND flash has certainly helped the computer manufacturers to actually produce the much smaller sized and yet powerful tablets for the future. I think the innovation has just begun and ipad2 and xoom competetion will certainly result in a tablet with a great features for the consumers soon.

  4. Anand
    March 3, 2011

    Sam Caldwell,

      Thanks for the article. Let me first salute Steve jobs passion and commitment to his work. Its incredible. Inspite of his health issues he made it a point to release iPAD2 himself. No wonder under his guiadance APPLE achieved so much.

     Do you think the Windows/Intel tablets will contribute more to  NAND FLASH memory demand compared to iPAD/ANDROID tablets since the memory requirement is more for Windows/Intel tablets ?

  5. AnalyzeThis
    March 3, 2011

    Well, you know this isn't a major upgrade when one of the big new feature bullet points includes, “faster Javascript.”

    It's clearly thinner. The camera change is nice. It's supposedly faster. But this isn't the type of revision that will cause millions of existing iPad owners to immediately order the new one and place their existing iPad on eBay.

    Yet despite the increased competition Apple faces in the tablet market now, I'm sure the iPad2 will do well. Also, obviously Apple has the clear advantage of being on their 2nd release of a tablet when everyone else is still rolling out their first.

    And yes, it's good to be a NAND Flash manufacturer right about now.

  6. Tony Massimini
    March 3, 2011



    I am Sam's colleague and the MPU guy at Semico.  I wanted to chime in on the processor and OS issue.  The first thought when you hear Windows for Tablets is that Intel Atom will be exclusive to this.  Speaking with Intel they make it clear that Atom is OS agnostic.  Intel is working with Microsoft but other companies for Android, Meego, etc.

    That being said, I think we can expect to see Windows tablets require 1 GB of DRAM for the local memory.  The Intel reference design for Atom based tablets and netbooks are essentially the same.  I don't think Apple states what the DRAM is for iPad2.  Motorola XOOM with NVidia Tegra 2 has 1GB DDR2, running Android 3.0 Honeycomb.  So DRAM is not an issue as far as a comparison.  Also, DRAM is not the largest percentage of the BOM.

    The NAND is a significant portion of the BOM cost.  NAND prices have been relatively steady.  OEMs target price points.  That is why Apple iPad2 offers the same amount of Flash at the same price points as iPad.  BTW Motorola XOOM offers only one denisty – 32GB of NAND.  Which ever platform gains market share the NAND issue is the same for all.

  7. Anand
    March 3, 2011

    Thanks tony for the explaination. That really helped.

  8. jbond
    March 3, 2011

    I have to agree with Dennis, that after hearing the specs on release day, this is an improvement over the original Ipad but not a major release. I can't see millions of people that have forked over close to $500 for their Ipad to ditch them for the Ipad2. Yes this improvement will bring in more sales from people that were sitting on the fence deciding which tablet is best. Apple does clearly have the current lead and does have the benefit of having a second release while many are trying to launch their first version.

  9. Mydesign
    March 4, 2011

       Yes SAM, the much awaited apple IPad launched very recently. First up all thanks for the effort you had taken for a comparative study. I think after hearing the specs on release day, most of the techies are little bit worried because this is only an improved version of original IPad, but not a major release.  From production point of view, this improvement will bring in more sales and turn over for them. Apple clearly has the lead in this segment and has the benefit of a second release, while competitors are trying to launch their first version.

       But from user or tech point of view, it’s totally disappointing because expected more advanced features and applications. The Only major advantage is, it has one more camera (secondary), which enables for video call.

    Hope Apple may NOT disappoint users at least for the next release.

  10. Adeniji Kayode
    March 4, 2011

    Sam, you made a good analysis of Ipod 2, Presently I can,t wait to see what the next release of Apple will look like. I think this is a good marketing strategy for “Ipad 3”.

  11. itguyphil
    March 4, 2011

    I've come to the conslusion that it doesn't matter what any Apple prodcut is called anymore. The products sell themselves and the fan boys & girls will buy them anyway.

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