Apple iPad 2: What’s missing?

Apple iPad 2Before any Apple fanboys out there blast us for saying anything less than glowing about the premiere of the iPad 2, hear us out. There is always an infinite amount of praise we can heap on a new Apple product, but naturally some criticism is in order.

There was an inordinate amount of hype leading up to the iPad 2. CEO Steve Job’s leave of absence for health reasons and the Verizon iPhone are the likely culprits for the increased attention. So it’s not necessarily Apple’s fault that the various iPad 2 rumors became an unstoppable force. Nonetheless, there were some features the digital community got a little excited about that weren’t reeled off today.

Not immediately available

We’re getting this one out of the way for a reason: Because it borders on insane. In the history of its launches, Apple has never immediately placed products on shelves. Which is why we were excited and shocked when we recently heard that the iPad 2 may be announced and available for purchase on March 2. Turns out the we’ll have to wait until March 11 (or March 25, depending on your country of residence) to order the iPad 2.

The possibility of ordering it today also makes it doubly hurtful that Apple isn’t taking preorders yet.

No USB port, No SD card slot

SD cardRelatively recent rumors about the iPad 2 speculated that the tablet would feature a USB port and an SD card slot. When supposedly “leaked” images of the thing hit the Web this morning, the original publisher noted you couldn’t view the two but that they could still show up come 10a.m. The Apple event came and went, and so did the notion of the two import features.

This is one of the more disappointing upgrades we were looking forward to. There was little more than an Engadget report saying Apple had reconsider its former resistance to anything that could enable the transfer of non-Apple content, but it was an exciting though. Sadly, Apple lived up to its reputation as a closed platform today and didn’t include either feature on the new iPad. Looks like we’re stuck with a dock connector.

No new screen

Some of the earliest rumors that began circulated around the iPad 2 revolved around its screen. Reports that Apple would double the resolution of the original iPad, as it did with the iPhone 4, gained steam, and were extinguished once and for all this morning when it was announced the tablet will have the same 1024 x 768 display of its predecessor.

One other interesting and largely baseless rumor out there was that Apple was interesting in using Kindle technology for the new screen, making it smudge-proof and easier to read outdoors. This one didn’t make it very far, but it still would have been an impressive feat for Apple to pull off.

No NFC capability

Bloomberg reported last month that Apple wanted to bring near-field communications technology to the iPhone 5 and iPad 2. Well, maybe one out of two ain’t bad – guess we’ll have to wait until June (fingers crossed) to find out.

Until then, we definitely know NFC won’t be enabled in the iPad 2. The technology would have made it possible for users to replace their wallets with the iOS device, a frighteningly futuristic concept.

Only one model

There’s a new statute with Apple rumors that seems to be cropping up lately, and it’s the rule of threes. We heard it recently with the iPhone 5, and originally back in December 2010 for the iPad 2. It was speculated that Apple was working on separate tablets for the second release that would have varying connectivity.

And of course, there was the notion that Apple would introduce a 7-inch iPad 2 today. ILounge reported earlier this month that an iPad manufacturer was working on a 7-inch device, which could still be a possibility for the coming iPad 3. But at least for the moment, Jobs stood by his word and delivered the standard (albeit slimmer) iPad size.

Down but not out?

These features may have been left out of the iPad 2 we saw unveiled today, but don’t count them out of Apple’s arsenal entire. It’s extremely possible that many of these rumors will apply to Apple’s next tablet, which could be out before the year is done. Between the current iPad 2 pandemonium and the coming onslaught of iPad 3 hype, Apple has secured itself a prominent place in tablet talk.

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