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Why Apple Really Kept the iPad2

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve read several blog posts and news reports comparing the new iPad lineup and surmising why Apple kept the iPad 2. So far everyone has missed this little detail:

There is a wide range of hardware devices on the market today that were designed with an iPad dock. And I’m not just talking about consumer products.

Professional equipment made for specific industries have adopted the iPad to serve as the user interface to complex systems. For example, audio equipment maker Mackie is revolutionizing the world of mixing boards with its new line of iPad-based consoles. Gone are the mechanical faders, buttons, dials and switches. You snap an iPad into place on the board’s face and use a Mackie app for the UI. The board is useless without the iPad.

Check it out.

Professional devices like this are popping up all over the place. The medical device field is another huge example.

These professional devices have been designed around the 30-pin dock connector that we all know and used to love. Now, the iPad 2 is the lone Apple product that has one. The new Lightning connector is on everything else.

Apple had to keep a 30-pin iPad in production to give the professional device manufacturers time to revise their products for the Lightning connector. In other words, the iPad 2’s days are numbered. It’s only alive today to buy time for third-party equipment partners.

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